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He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall 
doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. 

—Psa. 126 : 6. 

\ AUG 1891 



T «* library! 




THIS volume was prepared in accordance with 
the following resolution, preceded by a highly 
complimentary preamble, passed by my brethren 
of the Cincinnati Conference at their session 
held in Hillsboro in 1884: 

"Resolved, That this Conference of brother 
ministers affectionately and earnestly urge Brother 
Fee to prepare for publication a volume on the 
Early History of Methodism in Southern Ohio 
Northern Kentucky, and West Virginia, embrac- 
ing such incidents and personal reminiscences as 
in his judgment he may deem best fitted to inter- 
est and profit the Church." 

It is an imperfect record of over fifty years 
spent in the ministry. With the humblest views 
of myself and my work, I affectionately dedicate 
it to young ministers and Christian helpers whose 
sympathies and co-operation have been a benedic- 
tion to me in my pastoral and evangelistic labors. 

I desire to express my grateful acknowledg- 
ments for valuable suggestions to Captain Jerome 
H. Fee, of Adrian, Michigan, and especially to 

/ Miss Ada Thomas, of Piqua, for taking down and 




putting into typewriting these pages from my dic- 
tation. Without her aid I should never have been 
able to accomplish the work. My thanks are 
also due to the friends who have kindly rendered 
me assistance in revising the copy for the press. 

And now, as my sun of life is going down be- 
hind the western hills, I bring this bundle of 
sheaves, gathered from the harvest-fields of Ohio, 
West Virginia, and Kentucky, and lay them rev- 
erently at the Master's feet. 


PlQUA, O., APRII,, 1896. 




The Fee Family— Birth— Younger Years, 9 


My First Circuit: Georgetown — Batavia. 1842-1843.67 

Eaton Circuit — Putnam — Zanesvieee. 1844-1847, . . . 134 

West Virginia — Kentucky. 1847-1851, 210 


Hieesboro. 1852-1854, 277 


Ninth Street, Cincinnati. 1854-1856, 300 

Dayton. 1856-1858, 336 

Springfield. 1 858-1 860, 370 


Christie Chapee, Cincinnati. 1860-1862, 402 


Xenia. i 862-1 864, 437 






Urban a. 1864- 1867, 461 

Hamilton. 1867- 1870, 496 

Piqua. 1S70-1S73, 525 

WESLEY Chapel, Cincinnati. 1873-1876, 545 

Greenfield— Ripley District. 1876-1881, 573 


South Charleston— York Street, Cincinnati. 1881- 
1887, 614 


McKendree Church, Cincinnati — Grace Church, 
Springfield — Grace Church, Piqua. 1887-1892 . . 633 

Miscellaneous, 647 



William I. FEE, D. D., Frontispiece. 

The Fee Homestead, 16 

Bishop R. S. Foster, 568 

Arthur Fee, Joseph Frambes, John Pattison, John S. 

Johnson, 648 

Ralph L,otspEich, , . 661 


IT gives me great pleasure to write a few pages 
of introduction to this remarkable book. The 
adjective employed is exactly the right word ; it is 
a remarkable book. It is the most vivid and real- 
istic sketch I have ever read of a remarkable life. 
I have known the subject from his early boyhood, 
and have watched with interest his ministerial 
career for more than fifty years. This book is a 
simple narration of the wonderful story. 

I am sure it will be read with entrancing inter- 
est by the many thousands to whom he has minis- 
tered, and thousands more who shall be induced to 
peruse its pages. But few who take it up will lay 
it down until they have reached the finis. It can 
not fail to be useful to all, but of special profit 
and inspiration to his brother ministers. 

In all the places where Mr. Fee's ministry has 
been exercised for more than fifty years, he is re- 
membered as one of the most consecrated and use- 
ful servants of God. This narrative makes plain 
the secret of his wonderful success. He believed 
himself to be sent of God. He lived in daily 
closest communion with his Divine Master. He 




had but one work, and was untiring in it. His 
one thought was to do good and win souls. He 
loved men, and had faith in God. He was too 
busy to hear the suggestions of doubt, and too 
much in the enjoyment of his work to weary of its 
burdens. An abiding conscious experience was 
his inspiration and support. It is doubtful if any 
man of his generation will have more stars in his 
crown of rejoicing, or more happy souls to wel- 
come him to his heavenly home. 

Am$ng all the saintly men I have known, I am 
not able to name one who could, in my judgment, 
more justly claim the apostolic distinction of " I 
live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." No one, I 
am sure, can rise from the reading of these pages 
without coming to a like judgment. 

No one of his most admiring friends will claim 
for Mr. Fee unusual intellectual endowments. He 
possessed fair average faculties; was a good, ear- 
nest, plain preacher of the gospel. That which 
distinguished him was his absolute loyalty to God 
in the work to which he was called, and the un- 
alloyed simplicity and sincerity with which he 
prosecuted it from the beginning to the end. 

He was blessed with godly parentage and strict 
religious training in his youth. This was his great 
preparation and qualification for his ministerial 



He was a graduate of Augusta College, the 
second, if not the first, founded by our Church. 

Endowed thus with good common sense and 
fair educational advantages, and blessed with a 
high appreciation of the dignity which becomes 
ministerial character, and inspired with a high 
aim, he commanded the respect of all who knew 
him. But few ministers in the region where he 
lived had more influence with men and families of 
high position, while he was invariably greatly 
loved by the lowly. 

He numbers among his spiritual children some 
of the best families of the State where he has 
lived his noble Christian life. 

I commend this volume to the reading of all 
our people, and especially to our ministers for the 
profitable suggestions it will bring to them in the 
prosecution of their work. 


Roxbury, Mass., April, 1896. 

Bringing the Sheaves. 


THE Fees were of English and Welsh origin. 
At the commencement of the great Protestant 
Reformation in England they were the first to 
embrace it. They became members of the Church 
of England, and suffered the bitterest persecution 
from the Papists. Hoping to enjoy the rights of 
conscience in Scotland, they emigrated to that 
country. As the Established Church of England 
scarcely had a nominal existence in Scotland, they 
met with severe persecution from the Papists and 
Presbyterians, and finally left Scotland and went 
to Ireland. There they encountered the most bitter 
persecution they had yet suffered, and, despairing 
of ever enjoying religious freedom in Europe, they 
bade farewell to the Old World, and emigrated to 
the North American Colony with the sole object of 
finding a place where they might worship God 
according to the dictates of their own conscience. 

They landed in the city of Baltimore about the 
year 1690, as near as I can learn, and finally 
settled in Frederick County, Maryland, where my 


io Bringing the Sheaves. 

great great-grandfather, George Fee, located. My 
great great-grandparents were George and Par- 
nell Fee. Their daughter, Rachel, married Benj. 
Lakin, father of Rev. Benjamin Lakin. 

Hon. Thomas T. Fee, judge of the Second 
District Court, Iowa, is a second cousin of mine. 
He is the grandson of James Fee, and son of 
Thomas J. Fee, founder of Feesburg, O., one of 
the earliest Methodists in Southern Ohio. He re- 
moved to the West many years ago, and there his 
influence has been felt in every good cause. John 
G. Fee, of Kentucky, founder and for many years 
president of Berea College in that State, is also a 
second cousin. He was a strong anti-slavery man, 
and admitted to his school both black and white 
children while slavery still dominated the South. 
He is strong and fearless in his advocacy of what 
he conceives to be right, and never blanched in 
the presence of a foe. Cassius M. Clay once told 
me that he was the grandest man he ever knew, 
except in one particular, — he would not fight. 

Thomas Fee, son of George and Parnell Fee, 
was my great-grandfather. He was born in Mary- 
land. He was married twice — first to a Miss 
Thrascher, and the second time to a Miss Sarah 
Leith. He was the father of ten sons and four 
daughters, all of whom lived to be grown and mar- 
ried, and their descendants may be found in nearly 
all the States of the Union. 

My great-grandfather removed to Pennsylvania, 
and resided for many years in the Old Red Stone 
Fort, now called Brownsville, in order to be safe 

The Fee Family. 

1 1 

from the murderous attacks of the hostile Indians. 
From thence he removed in the year 1793, with 
his large family, to Mason County, Kentucky, and 
remained there for two years. In 1795, after Gen- 
eral Anthony Wayne had concluded his treaty with 
the Indians at Greenville, Ohio, hostilities ceased, 
and the territory northwest of the Ohio was at 
once opened to settlers. At that time slavery 
existed in the State of Kentucky. As my an- 
cestors had left Europe to escape slavery, they 
hated the very name of it. The Northwest Ter- 
ritory having been consecrated to freedom by the 
Ordinance of 1787, he left Kentucky, and in 1795 
settled at what is now Smith's Landing, on the 
banks of the Ohio River in Clermont County, 
leaving two of his sons, George and John Fee, in 
Kentucky. He died in 1816, and is buried near 
Moscow, Ohio. 

My grandfather, William Fee, was born De- 
cember 13, 1768, in Pennsylvania. He was mar- 
ried twice; the first time to Miss Margaret Ingram, 
of Pennsylvania, and the second time to Mrs. Mary 
Prather, nee Sargent, of Clermont County, Ohio. 
In 1802 my grandfather removed from Smith's 
Landing. He bought a tract of land four miles 
from the Ohio River, and built on the spot where 
the town of Felicity now stands. There was about 
a half acre of ground cleared, on which a rude 
cabin stood. His nearest neighbor was four miles 
distant. There, amid the howling of wolves and 
the screams of panthers, he began to clear out the 
forest. He was a man of great public spirit, and 

Bringing the Sheaves. 

servant, and such was his timidity that he feared 
to make an attempt in her presence. He went 
out and prayed secretly six times before he had 
the grace to do it. In the very act of praying in 
his family he obtained an assurance of Divine 
favor, which he retained to the end of his life. 

Soon after this he was visited by ministers of 
the gospel, Henry Smith and John Kobler, who 
paid occasional visits to that region of the country. 
Ministers of all denominations received a warm 
welcome at his home. These ministers were fol- 
lowed by Bishop Asbury, William Burke, Ben- 
jamin L,akin, David Young, William McKendree, 
Richard Whatcoat, John Collins, John Meek, John 
Strange, John Sale, and a host of others whose 
names and deeds are immortal. 

In the year 1803 he united with a number of 
pioneer Methodists, who had removed from Mary- 
land and Virginia to Clermont County — such as 
the Sargents, Pigmans, Prathers, and Fees—in the 
erection of the third Methodist Episcopal church 
edifice in the Northwest Territory. It was named 
Hopewell, and stood one mile west of Felicity. 

My grandfather was one of the trustees of this 
Church for many years. It was a hewed-log build- 
ing, two stories high, and a very large edifice for 
that day. Here Bishop Asbury, Bishop McKen- 
dree, Bishop Roberts, Thomas F. Sargent, of Phil- 
adelphia Conference, Thomas B. Sargent, of Balti- 
more Conference, Martin Ruter, John P. Durbin, 
H. B. Bascom, Benjamin Lakin, John Collins, 
James B. Finley, and, indeed, most of the early 

The: Fee Family. 


Western pioneer preachers, preached. Now there 
is only a cemetery to mark the place where it stood, 
and the Methodist Episcopal church of Felicity is 
the central point of worship in that region of coun- 
try. Here my father and mother united with the 
Methodist Episcopal Church in 1816, under the 
ministry of Francis Landrum. 

My grandfather and grandmother were lovers 
of good people, and given to hospitality. Travel- 
ers to and from Kentucky found a cordial welcome 
at their home. General Simon Kenton, the dis- 
tinguished Indian spy and fighter, was always a 
welcome guest, and would remain for days at a 

About the year 1798 my grandparents walked 
four or five miles from their home to attend a 
meeting at the place where the Calvary Methodist 
Episcopal Church is now located. They traveled 
barefooted through the wilderness. Their sole 
object was to unite themselves with the Church in 
communion with which they lived and died. 
Ministers often preached in their house, and class- 
meetings were held there for years. My grand- 
father was leader of the class which met in his 
own house. He was the first merchant in that 
part of Southern Ohio, and was for many years the 

After my parents united with the Church they 
became active and earnest members. Reading the 
Scripture, singing, and prayer were the exercises 
of each morning and evening in their humble 
home. Prayer-meeting, class-meeting, and the 

16 Bringing the Sheaves. 

preaching of God's Word received their prompt 
and constant attention. 

My mother's conversion was sudden and very 
bright. She never doubted it afterwards. My 
father's was more gradual in its manifestations. 
For three years he was afraid to say that he was 
converted. He had never received the witness of 
the Spirit that he was the child of God. He often 
said: "At first there was twilight, then daylight, 
then sunlight, and finally noonday " in his Chris- 
tian experience. He was appointed class-leader 
against his protest before he professed conversion. 
The Sabbath came when he was to meet his class 
for the first time. Many persons were present. 
With fear and trembling he made the attempt, 
and in doing so received an overwhelming assur- 
ance that he was a child of God. For more than 
fifty years he remained in that position, until 
failing health compelled him to desist. Not one 
in all that region of country was his equal as a 
leader. A strange power attended him. There 
was unusual pathos in his prayers and in the 
narration of his religious experience, which would 
overwhelm vast assemblages of people. He was 
a man of tears, of deepest sympathy ; always cheer- 
ful and happy, always loving in his disposition. 
He was a peacemaker, and, as long as he was 
able, he was invited to act as a mediator be- 
tween contending factions in Churches or families. 
He received the blessings of the peacemaker. 
Large numbers of persons of that class who were 
seldom reached by the ordinary agencies of the 

The Fke Family. 


gospel, were through him influenced and brought 
to Christ. I never knew him to quarrel. He was 
the friend and counselor of every pastor. He was 
a steward, class-leader, trustee, and Sunday-school 
superintendent for many years, and won the con- 
fidence and love of saints and sinners alike. 

He was the father of nine children who lived 
to be grown, and he had an abiding faith that 
they all would be saved. They were converted 
and became members of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church before they were eighteen years of age. 
His six sons became official members of the dif- 
ferent Churches with which they were connected. 
The young people loved him with an almost idol- 
atrous devotion. They thronged his class until it 
would have to be divided again and again. 

In 1879, when I was appointed presiding elder 
of Ripley District, which embraced my old home, 
I paid him an early visit. His mental powers had 
sadly failed, and, to my grief, he did not recognize 
me. I finally said: 

" Father, do you know Jesus?" 

He looked up, and, smiling, said: 

"I scarcely know anybody else but Jesus." 

A year after this he died. His mental powers 
came back the week before in all their original 
strength and vividness. The message came when 
we did not look for it. When I found that he was 
dying, I said: 

" Father, is it all well?" 

He whispered over and over, as it fell upon 
my ear, the word, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus !" and died. 


18 Bringing the Sheaves. 

My mother was equally devoted; ready, always 
ready, and waiting for the change. She died sud- 
denly in 1874, and went to her reward. Since 
then her memory is to me sweeter than ever be- 
fore, and no word has such a charm for me as 
"mother," and no love, save the love of Jesus, was 
greater than hers for me. 

She, with my father, " sleeps the last long 
sleep " in sight of the home they occupied for so 
many years. They rest from their labors, and 
their works do follow them. 

I was born on the 15th of February, 18 17, 
and, at that time, I was the only grandson. I was 
named William for my grandfather, and Ingram 
for my grandmother, that being her maiden name. 
I was dedicated to God in baptism by my parents 
when I was but two weeks old. I was baptized 
by the Rev. John Strange, a very distinguished 
minister of the gospel. From my very infancy I 
was an object of the deepest interest with my 
grandparents. No love could be greater for a 
child than theirs. 

My grandmother was a lady of refined manner 
and tenderest sympathy, and was dearly loved by 
all who knew her. She was a Christian in an 
eminent sense. My earliest memories are con- 
nected with her. I remember when I was but 
three years old of being with her at a camp-meet- 
ing. I also remember their worship around the 
family altar. She would have kept me at her 
home all the time if she could. She clasped my 
little hands in prayer, and had me bow the knee 

Younger Years. 


to God almost before I knew the meaning of this ; 
and I have prayed to God ever since I knew there 
was a God. In the evening, when she laid me 
upon the little bed adjoining her own, away in the 
still hours of the night, I would awake and find my 
grandmother bending over me, and imprinting the 
kiss of love upon my cheek. With her hand upon 
my head she would say: " God bless you, my child ! 
Don't be afraid; God's angels will protect you 
from harm !" and I would at once fall into sleep 
with as much security as if the arms of Jesus were 
around me. 

While my mother's prayers and my father's 
devotion had a wonderful influence upon me, my 
grandmother's devotion had more to direct my 
little feet; and so great was my love for her that, 
when I thought of the possibility of her death, I 
often said : 

"If she does n't go to heaven when she dies, I 
do n't want to go ; but if she does go, I would not 
wait a moment longer." 

My grandmother died February 18, 1827. The 
afternoon of her death she sent for me. After 
she bade her husband, children, and grandchil- 
dren, save myself, good-bye, she called me to her 
bedside, and told me that she was going home. 
As long as she had strength she exhorted me, and 
counseled me, in the most loving manner, to be a 
good boy, a devoted Christian, and not only to give 
my heart to Jesus, and my name to his Church, 
but my life to doing good and getting good. With 
her arms around my neck, she pressed me to her 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

heart over and over again, and held me there 
until her hands were pulseless and her heart was 
still. With a last prayer and a last kiss, she fell 
asleep in Jesus. 

I followed her to her last resting-place. I 
stood at her open grave as her remains were low- 
ered into it. They sang, and I shall never forget 
it, "Hark, from the tombs a doleful sound;" and 
then I went home to endure the saddest night 
I had ever spent. Although only ten years of age, 
my impressions were so deep that they have never 
been erased. 

My grandmother had an extensive relationship 
in Pennsylvania, and in other parts of America 
and Europe. She was a descendant of Sir Arthur 
Ingram, a distinguished nobleman of England. 
She was also connected with the Rineharts in 
this country. 

When I was but five years of age, for the first 
time I was strangely impressed with the idea that 
I had offended God, and felt that I must be for- 
given. I prayed about it as a child would pray, 
but obtained no relief. I spoke to my father about 
it, and asked him if my sins would be forgiven if 
I should be good in future as long as I lived ? To 
my surprise, he said "No," and I was impressed 
with the thought that I never could be forgiven. 
I was overwhelmed with sorrow, and told my 
father so. He explained, in a simple manner, 
that Christ had suffered and died for me, and that 
I might, on his account, or for his sake be par- 
doned. The impression was made upon my mind 

Young-kr Years. 


that my pardon was a matter of grace. At once 
my sense of guilt was gone. I do not say that it 
was conversion, and I do not say that it was not ; 
but the memory of it has never left me. I had 
a constant sense that God was present, that he 
knew all about my conduct, and that I was respon- 
sible to him; and that I must account to him for 
my conduct at the Day of Judgment, more than 
alarmed me. I was anxious to be good. Every 
morning I would commence the day with the 
idea that I would be better than I had been the 
day before ; but instead of becoming better, I 
seemingly grew worse. 

When I was between eleven and twelve years 
of age, I felt that I ought to be a Christian. I 
had a severe attack of illness, and feared that I 
might die; but was too sick to make the effort. I 
concluded, if I died, that I would be lost; and if 
my parents should ask me what I thought about 
dying, I would just simply say that I was willing 
to die. I was deeply moved by the death of a 
young friend, and finally my heart was stirred by 
the announcement that one of my associates, 
younger than myself, had joined the Church. It 
went like an arrow through my heart. I was anx- 
ious to come to Christ, and I had a great anxiety 
about myself; but concluded that I should obtain 
salvation sometime before I died. 

No one said a word to me on the subject. I 
was in my fourteenth year when I felt that I must 
do something in order to be saved ; but what to do 
I could not tell. On my bed, in the field, or wher- 


Bringing tuh Shkaves. 

ever I was, these thoughts troubled me. I was 
afraid that I might die, and die without hope. At 
last a boy eight years of age, the son of the only 
saloon-keeper in the town, and the grandson of a 
venerable Irish local preacher, was impressed with 
the thought that he ought to be baptized. He 
went to his grandfather about it, and he spoke to 
the father. Strange as it may appear, the father 
yielded. The Rev. William Simmons was ap- 
proached on the subject, and agreed to hold a 
class-meeting on the next Tuesday evening in my 
grandfather's house, and there baptize the boy. 
He requested my father and mother to be present. 
The time came. The grandfather and grand- 
mother and parents of the boy were all present. 
Mr. Simmons baptized him "in the name of the 
Holy Trinity." 

The father, wicked as he was, was deeply 
affected by the scene, and made up his mind to 
become a Christian. He desired to be admitted 
into the Church that evening on probation; but 
Mr. Simmons at once told him that he could not 
receive him into the Church on probation so long 
as he persisted in the practice of selling liquor. 
He said: 

"If that is all, I will pledge you my word that 
I will forsake the business of selling liquor for- 
ever, if you will receive me into the Church." 

They received him joyfully. It was a great 
victory for his venerable father. The next morn- 
ing, in the presence of my father, the minister, 
and others, he poured out all the liquor he had in 

Youngkr Years. 


the house, and took out the bar. This produced 
great excitement in the town, for he was widely 
known. Within one week the saloon-keeper was 
converted. He had a dance-house connected with 
his saloon, and separated from it by a partition. 
He took out the partition, and offered it as a place 
of worship for the little congregation in the town, 
as they had no place except private houses. He 
furnished it with rude benches. All the meetings 
after that, for a year or more, were held in that 
room. A new impetus was given to the cause of 

I became more deeply impressed with my need 
of a Savior. I knew I was a sinner, and yet I 
knew not what I must do to be saved. My life, 
outwardly, had been blameless, and I was regarded 
as a most amiable boy. Nobody ever knew me to 
fall into a fit of raging passion. 

Shortly before this, however, a boy insulted me 
and I knocked him down. He rose and came 
toward me, and again I knocked him down. He 
assaulted me the third time, when I struck him a 
most fearful blow, and he fell heavily to the 
ground. I fell upon him, and it was in my heart 
to kill him, and I believe I should have done so if 
my father had not come upon the scene and taken 
me away. 

I now found that my heart was deceitful above 
all things, and desperately wicked ; that I had 
only been a proud little Pharisee, observing the 
outward forms of religion, but knowing nothing 
of its power. I felt that I must have a new heart. 

Bringing the Sheaves. 

But I had a stubborn will, which would not yield 
without a battle. I knew my duty, but would not 
perforin it. 

Finally my father had occasion to leave home 
on the Sabbath. He charged me to remain at 
home, to avoid the company of bad boys, and not to 
go beyond the limits of the farm. In good faith I 
made the promise. In one hour a number of bad 
boys came to my home, and asked me to go to the 
woods. At first I refused ; but they pressed me 
again and again, until at last their importunities 
overcame my resolutions, and I took the fatal step. 
We wanderad two miles away, and were caught in 
a fearful storm, and the wonder is that we did not 
lose our lives from falling trees and branches. My 
mother, almost frantic, came after me. When she 
found me, I was as cheerful as if nothing had hap- 
pened. She looked at me, tearfully, and said : 

" You will see your father when he returns 

The evening came, but my father said not a 
word to me. The next morning came, but I never 
knew him to look so sorrowful. Finally he spoke 
to me in a soft, gentle voice, and said : 

u Will you walk with me into the orchard ?" 

When there, he said : 

"Is it true that you have broken your promise 
to me, and violated God's holy day?" 
I answered, u Yes." 
He said : 

" Do you not think you ought to be punished ?'* 
I answered, "Yes." 

Younger Ykars. 


He cut a switch from an apple-tree, and, com- 
ing with a sorrowful face, which I can never for- 
get, he said: 

"O, how it pains me to chastise you ! I would 
rather receive these strokes myself." 

He paused for a moment, his hand trembled, 
and the tears were rolling down his cheeks. The 
switch went down, then he raised it again, and 
said, almost sobbing: 

" How sorry I am !" 

But he was unable to lay upon me a single 
stroke. He raised it again, and the rod fell from 
his hands, and he stood weeping as though his 
heart would break. I said: 

"O, my father! I would sooner you would 
kill me than to do this!" 

He said not a word. 

At last I said to myself: 

"What a fool I am!" and, with a desperate 
resolve, I said: " Father, if you will forgive me 
for this and the past, I will never grieve you 

In a moment I was in my father's arms. His 
hand, in forgiveness and blessing, was laid upon 
my head. 

"O!" he exclaimed, "how happy I am over 

As far as I know, I never willfully grieved him 

From that hour I resolved that I would unite 
with the Church, and on the twenty-seventh of 
July, 1832, during an eclipse of the sun— the 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

nearest being total that I ever saw — I said to 
God and myself: 

"This night I will give my name to the 
Church, and my heart to God, if they will re- 
ceive me." 

That night my name was written by Rev. 
Wm. Simmons on the records of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, and remains there to-day. 

At that time it was an unusual thing for one 
so young to connect himself with a Church. Sev- 
eral boys united with the Church the same even- 
ing. I had not conversed with my parents on the 
subject, and they were rejoiced to think that I 
had taken the step, and at once gave me every 
encouragement. I began at once to discharge 
every known duty. My conviction of sin became 
deeper. The Holy Spirit enabled me to see my- 
self as I had never done before. 

On the next Sabbath, after my union with the 
Church, the Rev. Peter Hastings, an Irish local 
minister, preached an excellent sermon, at the 
close of which he invited persons who were seek- 
ing Christ, to kneel at a bench which was in front 
of him. Although the house was crowded, I went 
forward and kneeled at the rude seat to receive the 
prayers and counsels of this good man and others. 
I was the only one who came forward. When 
they kneeled in prayer, the minister laid his hand 
upon my head, and prayed earnestly for my con- 
version. When the congregation arose, he said 
the benediction would be pronounced. I thought 
the services were made very brief because I was 

Younger Years. 


only a boy, and felt that 1 received all the atten- 
tion I deserved. I was not converted, but I be- 
lieved I was on the way to conversion. I took more 
pleasure in repenting of my sins than I ever did in 
committing them. I sought the Lord day and 
night. So sad was I about my spiritual condition 
that I did not smile for three weeks. 

My case grew more and more desperate. I 
hoped that my entire devotion to the. saving of 
my soul would secure God's favor. I was brought 
to a state of self-despair. I had nothing but my 
sinful self to offer, and then the doubt came, "Will 
He receive such a sinner as I am?" 

One evening, after seeking Christ for three 
weeks, I determined to go to church and the altar 
of prayer once more, and remain until I found 
mercy, or died in the attempt. As I left my 
home and walked up the street in a state of self- 
despair, something said to me: "If God is able to 
save you at all, is he not able to save you here 
and now ?" Christ on the cross, as he was suffer- 
ing and dying for sinners, came vividly before me. 
My mind rested for one moment on him, when the 
blessed assurance came, "He died for me; He is 
my Savior." Instantly my sense of guilt passed 
away. The darkness gone, light, peace, joy, and 
love took possession of my soul. God approved, 
and my conscience no longer condemned. I was 
a new creature. I almost ran to the place of 

This was on the 17th of August, 1830. From 
that hour to this I have never seriously doubted 

Bringing the Sheaves. 

the genuineness of my conviction. I became a 
very happy boy, and sang — 

"Jesus all the day long, 
Is my joy and my song ; 
O, that all his salvation might see !" 

I was now anxious for the salvation of others. I 
seemed to be living a new life in a new world. 
I began to speak in the meetings, and to pray in 
public ; and, although I could only say a few 
words, I did what I could. I read all the religious 
books upon which I could lay my hands. I loved 
the ministers of the gospel more than any other 
men. They were regular visitors at my father's 
and my grandfather's. I regarded it as an honor 
to black their boots, to curry their horses, and to 
perform for them any work within my power. 
They were pleased to converse with me a great 
deal, and I wondered at their condescension. 

The Rev. William Simmons was then preacher 
in charge of White Oak Circuit, which embraced 
more than one thousand members, and at the least 
twenty-five preaching-places. There was preach- 
ing at these appointments once in four weeks. 

Just after my conversion I attended a camp- 
meeting held on Gregg's Camp-ground on Indian 
Creek, three miles from Point Pleasant, Ohio. 
Mr. Gregg married a Miss Fee, a cousin of mine. 
He was a most liberal man. The camp-meeting 
usually cost him about five hundred dollars a 
year. The camp-ground at that time was, per- 
haps, the best in the State of Ohio. It was at- 
tended by persons from Kentucky, and all parts 

Younger Years. 


of the State of Ohio. It was a great annual feast 
to the Methodists, and a matter of overwhelming 
interest to all classes of people. It usually lasted 
for one week, and it was expected that noted min- 
isters of the Methodist Church would be present. 
Weeks were spent in preparation. Wooden huts, 
composed of boards or round logs, were constructed; 
cotton and woolen tents were set up; large cov- 
ered wagons came, and in these families would 
sleep during the night. At sunset fires were built 
in every direction, and at a distance presented a 
beautiful sight. For two miles from that promi- 
nent point on which the meeting was held, could 
be heard the songs of praise and the shouts of 
the worshipers. It had a new interest to me, and 
I entered into its services with all the spirit of an 
earnest boy. 

There was over White Oak Circuit a general 
spirit of revival. The people at the very com- 
mencement of the services were full of hope, and 
the large altar was filled with penitent souls seeking 
Christ. Wicked men had gathered in great force, 
and were disposed to interrupt, and, if possible, 
break up the meeting ; but a guard was constantly 
on hand to prevent this. Immense numbers were 
present on Sabbath. Men who came to mock, re- 
mained to pray. By Monday morning the rowdy 
element had quieted, and a solemn awe filled the 
congregation. At the first service in the morning- 
such an interest prevailed, and the number con- 
victed became so great that it was impossible 
to hold the regular service, and no sermon was 

30 Bringing the Sheaves. 

preached that day. Men fell in all parts of the 
encampment as if dead, and almost everywhere, 
within the tents aiid outside, the voice of exhort- 
ing, singing, and rejoicing was heard for miles. 
It was supposed that at least three hundred per- 
sons were converted, and it was a scene never to be 
forgotten. Among these were a number of men I 
knew personally, who, at the commencement of the 
meeting would have destroyed it, but were now the 
most active promoters of it. 

I was almost constantly engaged in the meet- 
ing. On that Monday morning I found a boy, a 
little younger than myself, in a state of deep anx- 
iety, seeking Christ. I kneeled by his side, and 
prayed with him for a long time. At last the 
Lord spoke peace to his soul, and he rose and 
shouted until he was so hoarse that he could 
scarcely speak. The tears ran in streams from 
his eyes, while an unearthly glow was on his 
countenance. His father and my father were in- 
timate friends. He was dear to me, and my soul 
was filled with unspeakable joy. His older brother 
was also converted, and many others whom I 
knew. His name was Randolph Sink Foster. 
When he w r as about sixteen years old, I heard 
him preach his first sermon, and his second, third, 
and fourth. He became a distinguished orator, 
and for many years has been successful in winning 
souls to Christ. We were educated at the same 
college, and I have always taken a deep interest 
in him. It was my pleasure to introduce him to 
the lady who afterward became his wife, Miss 

Younger Years. 


Miley, sister of the late Dr. John Miley, of Drew 
Theological Seminary. From the time of his 
conversion until the present, we have been inti- 
mate friends. He is now the most prominent 
bishop in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and is 
exerting an influence for good among all the civ- 
ilized nations of the world. I may speak more of 
him hereafter. Tilghman A. G. Phillips was also 
converted at this meeting. He afterward became 
an able and useful minister in the State of Ohio. 
Henry Wharton, and his cousin, Zachariah Whar- 
ton, both distinguished ministers of the Ohio Con- 
ference, were converted, and many others, of whom 
I can not now speak. 

Dr. Martin Ruter, president of Augusta Col- 
lege, was present and preached. John Collins, 
the most successful minister I ever knew in re- 
cruiting soldiers for the Methodist army, was 
present. That prince of orators, Arthur W. El- 
liott, was there, and a host of others whose names 
are immortal. Large numbers united with the 
Church, and when the meeting closed, on Friday 
morning, the parting amid the groans of the peni- 
tents, the shouts of the young converts, and the 
rejoicing of the older followers of the Eamb, was 
a scene that I never can forget. In an hour or 
two the roads were thronged with covered wag- 
ons; and in these, going in every direction, could 
be heard songs and shouts, until the whole coun- 
try seemed like a Methodist camp-meeting ground. 
They returned to their several homes and churches, 
and a revival fire was kindled all over the country. 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

In those days parents took their children to 
the camp-meeting, that they might be converted; 
and the society, if possible, sent their unconverted 
members to the camp-ground for the same pur- 
pose. Mr. Gregg, the owner of the camp-ground, 
was prosperous in business. He was blessed with 
a large family of children, and most of them were 
converted before he died. When the members of 
the Quarterly Conference finally proposed to hold 
the camp-meeting in another place, because it was 
too great a tax on Mr. Gregg, he was greatly wor- 
ried about it, and begged the privilege of having 
it held on his premises the next year. His request 
was granted, and the meeting was held there for 
years afterwards. 

In the fall of this year our ministers w r ere 
changed, and George W. Maley and Henry E. Pil- 
cher were sent to the circuit. Mr. Maley was a 
quaint, eccentric minister, unlike any man I ever 
heard before or since. He was a very attractive 
man, and his audiences were large and seldom in- 
attentive. People flocked to his appointments, 
and by turns they laughed and wept. He was an 
educated man ; was brought up a Lutheran, a 
Calvinist in belief, and was converted at a Meth- 
odist camp-meeting near Lebanon, Ohio. He was 
soon after called to preach, and for many years 
was a member of the Ohio Conference. I will 
notice him further in my account of early minis- 
ters and Methodists in Southern Ohio. Henry E. 
Pilcher, his colleague, was a young man, and very 
successful in his work. 

Younger Years. 


Mr. Maley was the first minister who ever met 
me in class. After I had spoken with fear and 
trembling, he asked my father and my mother if 
they had confidence in my religion. They told 
him they had. He then laid his hand upon my 
head, and told me that he had too, and prayed 
God to bless me and make me useful. He was 
often a guest at our house, and was the most im- 
pressive pastor I ever saw. The whole family 
where he visited would often be bathed in tears. 
He appeared to understand the character and the 
peculiarity of every child. He prayed 'for all, and 
we thought prayed for everything. 

In due time a quarterly love-feast was held in 
Hopewell Church, when he received me into "full 
connection." I always loved him, and I believe 
he loved me. When he died, he requested that I 
should officiate at his funeral, which I did. The 
work on White Oak Circuit prospered under his 
supervision. He was succeeded by John A. Baugh- 
man and Maxwell P. Gaddis. Young Baughman 
was called "the tanner-boy," because he was 
brought up in the family of George Gregg, the tan- 
ner, on whose premises the camp-meetings were 
held. He was a fluent speaker, and made a pro- 
found impression wherever he preached. M. P. 
Gaddis was in his youth, and carried the people 
with him, and was eminently successful in win- 
ning souls to Christ. As my intimate friend I 
loved him, and his memory will be sweet to me 

About the year 1836 a church edifice was erected 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

in Felicity, and I was deeply interested in it, as 
were also my father and grandfather. I felt it a 
great privilege to carry mortar, and to help make 
and carry bricks, until often my bare feet would 
be sore and bleeding; but I rejoiced that I had a 
part in the erection of the building. It was finally 
completed, and dedicated to the worship of Al- 
mighty God by that sainted minister, Benjamin 
Lakin. This church became the birthplace of 
many souls. A revival soon occurred at which 
eighty souls were converted. My father, in the 
absence of the minister, conducted these revival 
services. Methodism became a power in Felicity. 
A number of young men were converted, who be- 
came very earnest and useful members of the 
Church. I was appointed leader of the first young 
men's meeting ever established in that place, and 
it resulted in the conversion of many souls. 

When I was about seventeen years of age, by 
the request of the Official Board and the approval 
of the ministers, I was appointed class-leader. I 
am now sorry that I declined the appointment. 
As I see it now, it was God's voice speaking 
through his Church to me; but I did not hearken, 
and have regretted it ever since. Finally minis- 
ters and others predicted that I would be a minis- 
ter of the gospel, and they often told me so. I 
believed the remark to be an idle one, and it 
made no special impression on me. But at the 
age of seventeen, suddenly and unaccountably, 
the impression was made that I must devote my 
life to the preaching of the gospel. I resisted it 

Younger Years. 


with all my might, believing that it came from 
the Evil One;, for I had no qualifications for such 
a great and important work as this. The impres- 
sion grew deeper, but I still felt that I was desti- 
tute of the learning, the mental and moral quali- 
fications, which were so essential to that work. I 
believed that God would never call me under such 
circumstances to labor, and fail, and die without 
accomplishing any good. I had not that depth of 
faith nor that commanding presence which would 
win the respect and the confidence of my fellow- 
men. I made every possible excuse, and brought 
up every reason of which I could think against it. 
With all my power I fought against it; but it 
would return with still greater force, "Woe is 
me, if I preach not the gospel !" So great was 
the strain that I could scarcely eat or sleep. My 
health began to fail, and I could no longer work 
on my father's farm. My physical strength be- 
came less and less, and my friends began to pre- 
dict, without knowing the cause, that I was marked 
for an early grave. I thought so myself, but still 
resisted the call to preach, because I was not sat- 
isfied that it came from God. 

I found that, when I was most devoted to God, 
the impression was the strongest. Finally one 
sentiment, stronger than all the rest, overwhelmed 
me ; namely, that I never could be instrumental in 
leading a soul to Christ. I was naturally timid 
and shrinking in my disposition, especially in 
the presence of an audience, and I honestly be- 
lieved that I never could be a public speaker; and 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

I would sooner die and fill an early grave than 
make the effort. I never communicated my fears 
to my father or mother, nor to any earthly friend. 
In silence I bore the cruel anguish. 

At last the crisis in my life came. I was rap- 
idly failing in health. One morning I thought 
the end was near, and with great difficulty I walked 
out upon my father's farm, visited the objects that 
were the most dear to me, bid them all farewell, 
and went back to the house and to my bed, as I 
supposed, to die. The reflection came to me that 
day, "What a fool you are! If you should fail 
after having done the best you can, the responsi- 
bility will be upon God, and not upon you. He 
requires nothing you can not perform." My faith 
revived. Then I said, after the most solemn con- 
sideration: "If God will restore my health, and 
permit me to obtain a college education, and the 
Church should open the door for me, money or no 
money, success or failure, I will go out into the 
vineyard of the Lord, and preach to his people, 
and labor for their conversion until I die." 

This resolution, and the faith I had, were for 
life and beyond recall. Whatever might be in- 
volved, I had taken the responsibility, and would 
meet it as best I could at every cost. Almost in- 
stantly I was relieved, the clouds dispelled, and 
rest, sweet rest, came to my spirit, and "it was 
done — the great transaction was done." At the 
same time my physical strength began to return, 
and in less than two months my health was re- 
stored, to the delight of my parents and friends. 

Younger Years. 


During all this struggle I had strangely re- 
tained the witness of the Spirit, and when I thought 
of dying, I believed that I would be saved some- 
how. I have an abiding impression that, in the 
world to come, I shall not suffer loss, because I 
did not sooner obey the voice of God in this re- 
spect. I studied now more earnestly than ever. I 
had an object for which to live. I had a future 
before me, and was willing to leave results with 
God. Neither my father nor mother had ever 
spoken a word to me about preaching. One day 
my father said to me : 

" Do you see that beautiful colt ? That'is yours 
whenever you become a Methodist traveling 
preacher.' , 

That was all he ever said before I revealed to 
him the secret of my life. 

I had already secured an academical education 
in mathematics, philosophy, and history; but had 
never studied the languages. Father said to me : 

" Would you like to go to Augusta College ?" 

I said : " Yes, I would, if you are able and will- 
ing to send me." 

This college was the first chartered Methodist 
college in the world, and was only six miles from 
my native place. 

" Then," said he, " I will go over to Kentucky 
next week, and make arrangements for your board ; 
for I am confident that you will never be a farmer. 
I was anxious to have you become a merchant ; 
but I soon saw that this was not to your taste. 
From your childhood you have been a lover of 

38 Bringing the: Sheaves. 

books, and God has some other design concerning 
yon. If you commence, I want you to remember 
I do not believe in any halfway business." 

This was in the fall of 1838. Arrangements 
were made for me to board with Elisha Simmons, 
a pioneer Methodist preacher; and the week fol- 
lowing I was at Augusta, and appeared for the first 
time in the college chapel. The room was crowded 
with young men whom I had never seen before. 
Most of them were from the Southern States, 
and were the sons of wealthy and distinguished 
men. I felt, in the presence of such young men, 
that I would amount to nothing, that in my stud- 
ies I would be a failure, and that no student in the 
institute would be below me. I looked upon the 
faculty with wonder, and could not believe that I 
would ever win their confidence or friendship. Dur- 
ing the first week I was homesick. Those who 
were boarding with me were generally religious. 

The faculty of the college at that time con- 
sisted of the following persons : Rev. Joseph S. 
Tomlinson, a profound scholar and a distinguished 
preacher, president; Rev. H. B. Bascom, who was 
thought to be the finest orator in the world; Rev. 
Joseph M. Trimble, of Ohio; and Rev. Burr H. 
McCown, professor of languages. 

I took my Church certificate, and presented it 
at the first opportunity. My first evening at my 
room I read from the book of Proverbs, and con- 
tinued to read a chapter at least on each evening. 
I found much that was useful to me, and that 
guarded me against the usual sins of young men. 

Younger Years. 


I attended the 'services of the Church on Sabbath 
and during the week. Every evening, with my 
room-mate, I had prayers; for during my entire 
life I had been accustomed to family worship. I 
found this practice very helpful. 

At first my studies were difficult, and the reci- 
tations were very embarrassing. In the regular 
college course part of my studies were in the 
academic department, and others in the sopho- 
more and junior classes. I soon discovered, what 
is common everywhere in schools and colleges, a 
number of young men who studied very little. 
Some had been in college three or four years. I 
was surprised to find myself in advance of them in 
my recitations. 

By the close of the first session I succeeded 
much better than I expected. My health also im- 
proved. I found in a short time that the charac- 
ter of my associations depended on myself. There 
was bad company as well as good. Soon after I 
had decided to enter college, I met my friend, Dr. 
John Miller, of Neville, Ohio. He was an uncle 
of Randolph S. Foster. He said to me : 

"A great burden is upon my soul, and I be- 
lieve there is one upon yours. Now, if you will 
tell me the secret of your heart, I will give you 
mine, and I will reveal mine first." He then said: 

"For years I have believed that God has called 
me to the work of the ministry, and I have made 
up my mind to yield to it. At any rate, on next 
Sabbath, at Chilo, I will preach, or try to preach, 
and will decide as to my life-work; and I want 


Bringing the Shkaves. 

you to be present, and give me your candid opin- 
ion as to the character of my performance." 

My recent experience on the subject of a call 
to the ministry, and the conclusion to which I had 
recently come to obey the call, prompted me to go 
and hear him on the next Sabbath. The Doctor 
was widely known, and when I reached the house 
it was filled with people. The moment he saw 
me he invited me to come forward, as he wanted 
to speak with me. I did so, and when I reached 
the platform, he said: 

"You must come into the pulpit." 

I said: " I can not." 

He replied: "You must close the services with 
an exhortation." 

I was astounded. Taking me by the arm he 
almost dragged me into the pulpit. I scarcely 
knew what to do. I dared not leave ; that would 
be discourteous. Finally I resolved that I would 
read a hymn, and offer a prayer, but make no 
effort to exhort. So when the time came I read 
the hymn with a trembling voice, and I know the 
congregation must have pitied me. The Doctor 
called aloud : 

"You must exhort!" 

I began to talk, and, before I was aware, I was 
in the midst of a very warm exhortation. I was 
surprised that I was able to talk at all. The Doc- 
tor congratulated me, and the people came forward 
and congratulated us both. I returned to my 
home, supposing that would be the last of it; but 
on the next Tuesday morning, Bbenezer B. Chase, 

Youngkr Years. 


the preacher in charge of White Oak Circuit, met 
me, and, in a very cordial manner, said : 

"Do you believe in the doctrine and discipline 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church?" 

I answered, " I do." 

"Are you willing to be governed by them?" 

I answered in the affirmative. He then handed 
me a paper. I opened it, and found it to be a 
license to exercise my gift as an exhorter in the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. How this came 
about I never knew. I was afraid to refuse, in 
view of the promises I had made but a short time 

At the college I would occasionally go out into 
the country with young preachers who were stu- 
dents, and would sometimes exhort after them. 
The cross was so heavy that I almost ceased to go 
with them. For more than two years I seldom 
exhorted. They made me an assistant superin- 
tendent of the Sunday-school, which embraced 
most of the students in the college. This gave 
me some excuse for my negligence; but I was not 
happy. No society or Church invited me to hold 
services at their appointments. I thought that I 
ought to wait to be invited, but was disappointed, 
and came to the conclusion that as God was open- 
ing up no door of success to me, perhaps I was 
occupying a false position. This was a source of 
much pain to me. 

At this time I overheard, one day, the superin- 
tendent of the county infirmary say that there was 
no religious service whatever among the poor of 


Bringing the Sheavks. 

that place. By common consent, these poor peo- 
ple were left without God and without hope in the 
world. As soon as I could approach the superin- 
tendent about it, I said to him : 

"If you are willing to receive my humble 
services, I will go to the infirmary and do the 
very best I can." 

He said: 

"God bless you, Fee! I shall be so glad to 
have you. I will make an appointment for next 
Sabbath afternoon, and I will have a good congre- 
gation to hear you." 

I never mentioned this to anyone. I secretly left 
the town, and walked about three miles to the place. 
I found, on my arrival, a large congregation wait- 
ing for me. Everything was as pleasant as I could 
expect. I opened the services, read a chapter, 
and made my first effort, on my own responsibilty, 
at holding a public service. There was much 
feeling in the congregation, both among visitors 
and the inmates of the institution. This surprised 
me, but I felt that it was of God. I found almost 
immediately that God had blessed my humble 
effort in the conversion of a lady — an inmate of 
the institution — who had been seeking Christ, 
without finding him, until she made up her mind 
that she was a reprobate, and that there was no 
mercy for her. While I was speaking she was set 
at liberty, and rejoiced in the great thought that 
she had found Christ and a free and full salvation. 
This was the first fruit of my public labors. From 
that time until now more places have been open 



for me than I have been able to supply. I received 
invitations from all quarters to hold meetings. 

Just before this a remarkable revival of religion 
took place in the college and in the town. It moved 
all classes. A majority of the young men who were 
not converted were led to seek Christ, and were 
made happy in his love. At the very beginning of 
the revival I caught its spirit, and did what I could. 
Young men who were converted were sure to visit 
my room. I soon thought that it would be a good 
place for me to have a little service, and pray with 
such persons. Moses Smith, a fellow student, was 
hearty in this, and was always with me whenever 
any seeking souls were there. 

I remember, on one Saturday, the religious 
students met together in order to prepare for the 
work of the Sabbath. A nephew of one of the 
governors of Ohio, the son of a pious mother, who 
dedicated him to God when she died, though a 
young man of remarkable promise, was very wicked. 
He begged, before this, the privilege of associating 
with me. My fellow-students thought that I could 
exert more influence over him than anybody else, 
and they asked me to call on him and see if I could 
persuade him to attend the meeting. I went to 
his room, and he received me politely. I spoke of 
the meeting, and my desire that he should be pres- 
ent. He said: 

" I shall go to-morrow, because it is a rule in 
the college, but not now ; you will have to excuse 
me. I must go out on the river to skate. I must 
go. Good-bye !" and he left me. 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

My heart was almost broken, but I prayed for 
him as best I could. The next morning President 
Tomlinson preached a sermon of wonderful power. 
After this Professor Trimble delivered one of those 
exhortations for which he was so eminently quali- 
fied ; and, as this young man was a cousin of his, 
he approached him, and by all the memories of 
the prayers of his loved mother, besought him to 
give himself to the Church that day; but he 
looked as unmoved as if he had no soul. Profes- 
sor Trimble said : 

" Ivittle did your mother think, when she died, 
that you would be false to your word and to her 
teaching," and left him. 

Moses Smith and myself were walking home 
together, arm in arm, when some one came up be- 
hind us, and separating us, took each of us by the 
arm. I looked up, and it was my young friend, 
all bathed in tears. He said : 

"Will you allow me to walk a little way with 
you ?" 

We assured him that we would be pleased to 
have his company. He then said : 

"That allusion to my mother grieves my heart. 
O, I can not live this way!" 

We went to my room, and we three sat there 
in silence for a moment, when the dinner-bell rang, 
and we invited him to dine with us. The very mo- 
ment he attempted to speak, he burst out into a 
flood of grief, and said : 

" O, I can't eat or sleep until I find Christ ! 
Pray for me !" 

Younger Years. 


We did so, letting our dinner go until three 
o'clock, when he found pardon, and rejoiced with 
exceeding joy. When Professor Trimble heard of 
it, he came running to the room, and caught him 
in his arms. The next morning he came to my 
room early, and the very moment he saw me he 
said: "O Fee, God calls me to the work of the 
ministry!" He gave himself up, and for a number 
of years he was a devoted minister of the L,ord 
Jesus Christ. 

At that time I had a room-mate who was the 
only son of the first governor of Ohio. He ap- 
parently had but little sympathy with revivals; 
but finally, to my delight, I found him among the 
seekers for salvation. I was afraid to approach 
him, as I was his room-mate, and might retard his 
progress. For weeks he sought Christ at the altar 
every night, until at last he sent for me in the hour 
of his great despair, and begged me to help him. I 
found, as I thought, that he had received pardon; 
but it did not come in the way he expected, and 
hence he had rejected it. This is a very common 
mistake of penitent souls. 

Said I: " What is the matter?" 

He replied: "I can't feel my sins anymore." 

I said: " Perhaps God has pardoned them." 

Said he : "I thought four weeks ago that he had ; 
but it was not what I expected, and since then I 
have been praying for deeper conviction." 

I said, frankly : 

"I believe that God did, then and there, for 
Christ's sake, pardon your sins. And what you 

4 6 

Bringing The Sheaves. 

ought to do now, is to pray for the witness of the 
Spirit, or evidence that you are accepted." 

He began at once to pray for the witness of the 
Holy Spirit, and almost instantly his prayer was 
heard and answered, and his joy was indescribable. 

Two students were found at the altar, and for 
weeks were unsaved. One of them came to me, 
and asked me why it was. I said to him : 

"William, have you any enemies whom you can 
not forgive?" 

He said : "Yes, there is one, and he is with me 
at the altar every night, and I learn that he is as 
unwilling to forgive as I am." 

Then I said: "You will never be converted 
until you do forgive." 

"What would you have me to do?" he asked. 

I replied : " Go to his room, and say to him, if 
you can, ' I forgive you, as I expect to be forgiven. 
If I have injured you, pardon me.' If," I contin- 
ued, "you are ever to do it, the sooner the better." 

He replied : " I will." 

He had not walked one hundred yards from my 
room until, turning the corner of a street, he met 
his enemy. They paused, looking each other in 
the face, pronounced each other's names, and, 
without more words, fell into each other's arms; 
and that evening they were both converted. One 
became a minister, and the other a physician, and 
one of the most useful laymen in the State where 
he lived until he died, beloved by thousands of 

The students were now divided into three 

Younger Years. 


classes. I was assigned to the class led by Profes- 
sor Bascom, who treated me always with friend- 
ship, and I loved him tenderly. Hubbard H. 
Kavanaugh, afterwards bishop of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, South, took a deep interest in 
me. He was about holding a revival-meeting 
some four miles in the country, and invited me to 
aid him. I did so. One night we had a glorious 
time, and it was about eleven o'clock when I left. 
Mr. Kavanaugh said : 

"I promised to see you home. How are you 
going to get there?" 

Said I: "I shall walk." 

"No, you shall not walk," he replied. 

He was a large man himself, but he made me 
get on his horse behind him, muddy as were the 
roads. This additional burden was more than the 
horse was willing to endure, and he kicked vio- 
lently ; but Mr. Kavanaugh was unwilling to re- 
lease me. The horse labored in almost every way 
to get rid of us, but we both clung to him until at 
last we reached our boarding place in safety. 

" Now," said my companion, " you have been 
with me three or four days, and it is in my heart 
to say to you that I believe that God intends you 
to be a minister, and a Methodist traveling preacher. 
Your ability to cling to that horse has settled that 
question with me." 

After he became a bishop, he preached for me 
at Cincinnati, and reminded me of his prophecy 
and of its fulfillment. 

In January, 1842, Professor Bascom and his 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

class, without my knowledge, recommended me 
for license as a local preacher to the Quarterly 
Conference of the circuit in which we lived, and 
which met at Minerva, Kentucky, on the 30th 
of January, 1842. There, after being exam- 
ined by Isaac Collard, I was licensed as a local 
preacher. At the same time, Moses Smith, A. A. 
Morrison, of New York, and William C. Dandy, 
of Chicago, were also licensed. The very thought 
of preaching, to me, was fearful. I felt that I 
would sooner die than make the attempt; but I 
remembered my vow, and would not sound a 

At the close of the third college year the faculty 
were willing that I should graduate, but I felt that 
I ought to remain and pursue my studies another 
year, which I did. In the month of June, 1842, I 
was graduated with sixteen others, and received 
the degree of Bachelor of Arts. I am now the 
only survivor of that class. 

My connection with the college was to me a 
great blessing. Here I met the ablest and the 
best ministers of the land. I became acquainted 
with members of the best families in the North 
and in the South. I often listened to men of na- 
tional reputation and profound learning. My col- 
lege acquaintances amount to many hundreds in all 
parts of the Western and Southern States. I was 
invited by some of the most distinguished young 
ministers to go South, and connect myself with 
prominent literary institutions ; but I was an anti- 
slavery man, and Southern associations had no 

Younger Years. 


charms for me. At the close of my college life, a 
serious difficulty occurred among the professors and 
friends of the college, which ultimately resulted in 
its dismemberment and its virtual destruction. 
Augusta had sent out large numbers of distin- 
guished men, both in Church and State, who long 
lived to do honor to their Alma Mater, and to their 
country. Only a few of these remain. 

Having completed my studies before the end 
of the college year, I was allowed to go home and 
remain until Commencement-day, when I was to 
return and receive the honors of the institution. 
It was a sad hour when at last I bade farewell to 
my associates and the scenes, of my college life. 
What was before me I could not tell. 

On Saturday morning, after I completed my 
studies in the college, I paid a visit to my uncle, 
John McGraw. On arriving at my uncle's house 
I found that a two days' meeting was being held 
in the neighborhood, at Concord Church, by 
William Parrish, and Jacob Gatch Dimmitt, his 
assistant on White Oak Circuit. I was pressed to 
attend. Mr. Parrish had preached at eleven o'clock 
on Saturday, when he was taken sick and left for 
his home in Felicity, after appointing me to preach 
that night. It was my first sermon after being 
licensed. The church was crowded, and I was 
frightened and sadly confused. The church was 
lighted with tallow candles, and the light was so 
dim I could scarcely see to read my text. This 
added to my confusion, and I made such a failure 
as to reproach myself and the cause which I ad- 

50 Bringing the Sheaves. 

vocated ; and believed it to be a loud call for me 
never to attempt to preach again. I slept but 
little that night. My agony was extreme. I made 
up my mind to surrender my license. 

The minister who preached at eleven o'clock 
on Sabbath morning was immediately afterward 
taken sick and was unable to preach at night. A 
local preacher was expected to speak, but he too 
was taken sick. Two men besought me to preach 
again, but I declined, until they wept over my 
desperation. My friends gathered about me, and 
besought me to yield. At last I consented, and, 
going out into the thicket, I spent the afternoon 
in study and prayer. I made a sermon, for I only 
had the one which I had delivered on Saturday 

I went to the church with less faith in myself 
than I ever had before, but with more faith in 
God. I preached upon the parable of " The 
Prodigal Son" with great freedom, and, without 
embarrassment, I continued to the close. I felt 
that God was with me. The congregation was 
greatly moved. A prominent member, at the 
close, called to me to " open the doors of the 
Church. " He pressed it, and I consented, with 
the impression that no one who respected himself 
would unite with the Church under the ministra- 
tion of such an unworthy preacher as myself. 

At once an interesting young man rose, came 
forward and gave me his hand. Five others fol- 
lowed. All soon gave their hearts to Christ. I 
could scarcely believe my eyes, and I was filled 

Youngkr Years. 


with gladness that God had honored me in such 
a way. The first young man, Joshua Gray, re- 
mained faithful for more than fifty years, and died, 
June, 1894, in the faith which he embraced that 
night. On my return home, I found Mr. Parrish 
very ill, and his colleague, Mr. Dimmitt, informed 
me that I must fill Mr. Parrish's appointments 
until he recovered, and said: 

li On next Saturday there is an appointment 
for a two days' meeting at McKendree Church, 
three miles distant ; and you must preach on Sat- 
urday and on Sabbath night." 

I did as best as I could. On Sabbath after- 
noon I prepared a sermon for evening. At the 
close of my evening sermon there was a spirit of 
conviction all over the congregation. A layman 
begged me to invite people to the altar. I did so, 
and it was soon crowded. Many were converted 
that night and united with the Church. It was 
in the busy season of the year, but they decided 
that the meeting should be continued. The in- 
terest was intense. I prepared a sermon for the 
next night. On that evening, at the close of a 
brief discourse, the altar was crowded and many 
were saved. Among those converted were an in- 
teresting young man and his sister. They were 
the children of a life-long Presbyterian, and the 
father brought them to me as applicants for mem- 
bership in the Methodist Episcopal Church, of 
which they ever afterwards remained worthy and 
honored members. 

Every night that week we had services. More 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

than fifty were converted and united with the 
Church. I did not suppose that any of my im- 
mediate relatives were present at this meeting, and 
I was speaking with unusual liberty — I had never 
spoken or preached in the presence of my father — 
and when I saw him in the congregation I sat 
down, but soon recovered and continued the 
meeting. I was informed that Mr. Parrish was 
still sick ; and that he had made an appointment 
for a two days' meeting in the town of Neville, on 
the Ohio River. He appointed me to occupy his 
place, and secured the services of the distinguished 
pioneer preacher, Benjamin Lakin, to assist me. 
On Saturday, Brother Lakin preached as he only 
could. I followed on Saturday evening. On Sab- 
bath morning he preached again, and on Sabbath 
night I preached. The meeting was one of great 
interest, A spirit of conviction pervaded the en- 
tire community, and when Brother Lakin left they 
insisted that I should continue to hold the meet- 
ing myself during the week. On Monday morn- 
ing the interest became so great that we repaired 
to the Baptist Church, which was much larger 
than ours. The meeting went on with great 
power. The whole community was stirred, and 
some prominent citizens were converted. 

I was the guest of Israel Foster, the father of 
Bishop Foster. He was a timid, quiet man, and 
could not be induced either to speak or pray in 
public. One morning a physician arose in the 
meeting and said : 

" I have made nine efforts to be a Christian. 

Younger Years. 


In all these I have failed. The Church has no 
confidence in me, and I have none in myself. If 
I believed that there is one man in this house 
who would indorse for me, I would make the tenth 
effort to save my soul." 

Mr. Foster was deeply moved, and arose to his 
feet and said : 

" Doctor, I will indorse for you." 

The doctor again gave his name to the Church. 
After this I knew him for thirty-five years, and 
he never lapsed again. This was a blessed thing 
to the doctor, and also to Mr. Foster. He imme- 
diately began family worship, spoke in the meet- 
ing, prayed when called on, and during the week 
went all over the town talking to people about 
their souls, and praying in their families. How 
strange, that good men should be so enslaved by 
natural timidity ! Many might, did they rely more 
upon God, become a power for good in the ad- 
vancement of the Redeemer's kingdom. At the 
close of the week we found that more than sixty 
had been happily converted, and united with the 

A number of people had come from Kentucky 
to attend the meeting ; some to mock rather than 
to pray. As I was young and tiinid I knew not 
how to control them, for they were very rude. I 
looked at them for a moment and saw one who 
impressed me as a young man of honor, of courage, 
and of physical strength. I appealed to him, 
and said : 

" I am young, and a stranger here, and alone, 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

almost. I believe you to be a man of honor. Will 
you be so kind as to take charge of the good order 
of this meeting, and see that no one violates it? — 
and I will stand between you and harm." He, 
looking at me a moment, said: 

u I thank you for your confidence. I will do 
as you ask, and will not betray you." 

He did, and I had the very best order to the 
last. More than one hundred souls were converted 
in less than two weeks, and this gave me much 
encouragement. One young man of rigid moral- 
ity, having the respect of all who knew him, 
thought he was better than almost any of the 
Church members, and became deeply convinced of 
sin. When he began to see himself a sinner, the 
very enemy who had told him that he was good 
enough, now persuaded him that he was such a 
sinner that he was lost beyond all hope of redemp- 
tion. He was a tall man. In his despair he threw 
himself upon the floor, and cried out in fearful ac- 
cents : 

"Lost! lost! lost!" 

I kneeled at his side. Scores gathered around 
him, and all wept over him for two hours. I la- 
bored to convince him that there w T as mercy for 
him. At the expiration of that time he was per- 
suaded that he could find mercy, and began to re- 
joice. I said to him : 

"You are converted, are you not?" 

u O no!" said he. "I am rejoicing because my 
conversion is possible." 

In a few moments he received Divine mercy, 

Younger Years. 


and rejoiced with unspeakable joy. He became 
one of the most devoted, useful Christians in all 
that country. 

On the next Sabbath, after our meeting closed, 
I was appointed to fill the regular appointment at 
Moscow, three miles below, on the river. A large 
number of my relatives resided here. I never 
knew a town of its size have more attractions or 
a better class of citizens. During preaching that 
afternoon a strange solemnity and a spirit of weep- 
ing pervaded the congregation. It was my first 
sermon there. At the close I was requested by the 
leading members to invite persons to unite with 
the Church, which I reluctantly did. Six at once 
came forward, and a profound impression was made 
upon the congregation. Before they were dis- 
missed, some of the brethren came to me and said : 

" We must have meeting at night." 

I reluctantly consented to announce one, and 
to conduct it. A large number came to the altar 
seeking Christ. They insisted that we should have 
meeting on Monday morning at nine o'clock, 
and again on Monday night. With great reluc- 
tance T agreed to this also. In the morning a large 
congregation was assembled, and a number were 
converted. Near the close of the services a prom- 
inent citizen, who lived almost adjoining the 
church, but who had not been present at any serv- 
ice for fourteen years, came in, with others, to see 
what was going on. I went to him and expressed 
my gratification that he was present, and besought 
him to seek Christ that night. He yielded, and 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

was happily converted, and united with God's 

We continued the meeting during the week, 
and an unusual number of prominent citizens, who 
had not been religious before, were brought to 
Christ and united with the Church. The meeting 
seemed at one time to have accomplished all that 
it was likely to do. I was sorely perplexed and 
discouraged. I went out to the hills, and in a re- 
tired spot spent hours in prayer, and my prayer 
was — I know not why — that that night ten per- 
sons might be brought to Christ and to the Church 
of God. I prayed until I believed my prayer 
would be answered. 

A cousin of mine, the most prominent young 
lady of the town, who was adverse to the cause of 
Christ, and unwilling to take the responsibility 
upon herself, said to me that morning : 

" It is useless to talk to me ; I will not yield!" 

I said to her: 

" Cousin Emma, my mission is ended. I shall 
trouble you no more unless you request it. I shall 
meet you at the judgment. Farewell !" 

At the evening meeting she was the first to 
yield. She found Christ, and united with his peo- 
ple, and remained faithful as long as she lived. 
She was followed by others, all of whom were 
prominent citizens. While they were coming for- 
ward I said to a prominent merchant, • a Mr. 
Thresher : 

" Will you not give me your hand and name, and 
go with us and your faithful wife to the better land?" 

Younger Years. 


He said : " I will. I am so timid that I have 
been waiting for twenty years for just such an op- 
portunity as this." 

I felt that my prayer was answered ; for I re- 
ceived into the Church that night the number for 
which I prayed. During this meeting some forty 
persons united with the Church, and about fifty 
were converted. 

A young man of unusual intelligence, a Swe- 
denborgian in his faith, manifested on several oc- 
casions a disposition to converse with me and en- 
gage in controversy. This I declined. Whenever 
he saw me on the street in conversation with one 
or more, he would join us and remain until we 
separated. As he followed me almost every place 
I went, I at last felt that he was discourteous, and 
I could endure it no longer, and intended to tell 
him so when I met him again. He was among 
the number that night who came to the altar, and 
was converted and united with the Church. At 
the close of the exercises, he said to me : 

"Mr. Fee, you have regarded me as somewhat 
discourteous. I have been near you for days when- 
ever I had the opportunity, because I wanted to 
settle two things in my mind. First, were you 
preaching the true religion? and second, did you 
practice it, and manifest its spirit? I knew your 
patience was severely tried by the treatment you 
received, and I believed if you could endure all this 
you must have something that I did not enjoy; 
and if you had, I wanted it. It was not your 
preaching nor your prayers, as far as I know, nor 


Bringing the Shkaves. 

your exhortations ; but the spirit you manifested 
under severe provocation.' ' 

In utter surprise, I said to myself: "Can it be 
possible that the destiny of an immortal soul de- 
pends to a great degree upon the spirit and temper 
I manifest in my every-day conversation and life ?" 
The lesson I can never forget. 

In three weeks, in the summer-time, in the 
busiest season of the year, I had witnessed the con- 
version of more than one hundred and fifty souls. 
Among these was an interesting young man. I ap- 
proached him, and said to him : 

"Ben, do you not think you ought to give your 
heart to the Savior?" 

He said: "I do. I thought that no one cared 
for my soul !" 

I said : " Go with me to the altar." And he 
went, and was converted, and united with God's 

Three months afterward I found him upon a 
dying bed, and I asked him how it was with him. 
He replied: 

" My peace is made ! I can joyfully depart, and 
be with Christ. But for you, I fear I might have 
died without Christ. Now, when I die, preach my 
funeral sermon. I shall await your arrival in the 
better land." 

I complied with his request. 

The next Saturday and Sabbath I held a two 
days' meeting at Mount Zion, four miles east of 
Felicity. Mr. Parrish, in the meantime, was grow- 
ing worse, and they despaired of his recovery. 

'Younger Years. 


Mr. Dimmitt was our preacher in charge ; but the 
care of more than one thousand members was upon 
him, and he had but little time for revival work. 
This he committed to me — a most responsible work. 

At the request of the Quarterly Conference of 
White Oak Circuit, and by the appointment of 
William H. Raper, then presiding elder of the Cin- 
cinnati District, I was appointed a supply as junior 
preacher on White Oak Circuit. This was the 
greatest trial of my life. The principal appoint- 
ment on the circuit was my native town. I told 
Mr. Raper that I never could endure to preach in 
the presence of my father and mother and a large 
circle of relatives and friends. I finally agreed 
that if he would release me from the duty of 
preaching there, I would accept the appointment 
and do the best I could. He did this, and I en- 
tered upon my work at Mount Zion Church. 

On Sabbath evening of the meeting the Lord 
began to work in the hearts of sinners, and the 
altar was crowded with seekers. They insisted 
that the meeting should continue for several days 
at least, although it was in the midst of wheat 
harvest. During Monday I was praying and 
hoping for great results at the evening meeting. 
The family whose guest I was were relatives of 
mine, and they sympathized deeply with me for 
my anxiety about the success of the meeting. Just 
before sundown a fearful cloud appeared in the 
west, and in a short time the rain was pouring 
down in torrents. It continued for almost an hour, 
and I despaired of any meeting that night. It was 

6o Bringing the Sheaves. 

a great trial to me ; but remembering that every 
shower of rain was a shower of grace, I submitted. 
Finally my cousin put on her cloak, took her um- 
brella and a child in her arms, and was about go- 
ing out into the rain. I said to her: 

" Where are you going?" 

"To the church, of course," she answered. 

" Such a night as this?" I asked. 

In astonishment she said : 

"Did you not think of going?" 

I said : " No, I supposed the meeting was 
broken up." 

" And you a minister ! I think you ought to be 
ashamed !" 

I said: " If you go, I am ashamed of myself! I 
certainly will go, but with no prospect of any suc- 

We were soon within hearing of the voices of 
persons singing and rejoicing in the church. The 
house was full in spite of the rain. Those who 
came before the rain, began to sing and pray, and 
God blessed them, and souls were converted. 
About ten were converted ; and among the num- 
ber were two young men who became the leading 
official members and the most useful and devoted 
Christians in all that region of country. About 
twenty-five or thirty souls w T ere converted in a few 
days. From there I went to fill an appointment at 
Calvary Church, and souls were saved. 

The next Saturday and Sabbath I held a two 
days' meeting at Eden Church, near Georgetown, 
Ohio. From there I went to Feesburg, and spent 

Younger Years. 


several days. At the last two places a number 
were converted. From thence I went to Good- 
win's school-house, two miles from my home, and 
held meeting during the week. Quite a number 
were converted. I then held another meeting at 
Chilo, with good results. At my appointments on 
almost every occasion, strange to say, souls were 
saved. The success which attended these labors I 
can not understand. It was a matter of wonder to 
me. I honestly believed at the time that I had 
but little agency in these revivals, and attributed 
them to the grace of God and the power of his 

Both my father and myself believed that, be-, 
fore I entered the work of the ministry, I ought to 
have a training of about two years in some theo- 
logical seminary. I thought of Lane Seminary, 
a Presbyterian institution. Sometimes, especially 
after my greatest successes, I thought that, after 
all, I was not called to the work of the ministry, 
and was out of my place, and that it would be 
better for me to engage in the study and practice 
of law ; a profession which I thought, in my early 
life, of choosing. I would often retire to my room 
and spend sleepless nights in trying to decide defi- 
nitely as to what was the work of my life. I had 
graduated at the college and received its honors. 
The time had come when I must decide upon the 
work of my future life. The quarterly-meeting Con- 
ference approved of my ministerial labors on the cir- 
cuit, and recommended me unanimously for recep- 
tion into the Ohio Annual Conference which met 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

in Hamilton in September, 1842. This was done 
against my protest. So unworthy did I feel that 
I was confident that I would not be received, and 
this reconciled me to having my name go before 
the Conference; for I was afraid to take the re- 
sponsibility myself. 

The week before the Conference commenced, 
the Church at Felicity, my native place, unan- 
imously requested me to hold a revival service, 
commencing on Saturday evening of that week. 
I took it under advisement, and prayed for Divine 
direction and strength to do my duty, whatever it 
might be. At the same time I felt that it was my 
duty at that meeting to settle the question for- 
ever as to whether I was called to preach or not. 
I received this impression in answer to prayer ; 
and I made this condition, that if five souls were 
converted at this meeting and added to the Church 
in my native place, I would take it for granted that 
I was called of God, by his Holy Spirit, to give 
myself to the work of the ministry in the Method- 
ist Episcopal Church as long as I was able, to the 
best of my ability. 

I began the meeting on Saturday night. The 
house was filled and the Spirit of the Lord was 
manifest. The altar was crowded with penitents, 
and ten souls were happily converted. The meet- 
ing continued for one week, with wonderful power. 
The Conference was then in session, but we thought 
but little about it. Kvery night large numbers 
were seeking Christ. By the next Saturday week 
some seventy-five had united with the Church, and 

Younger Years. 


more than that number were happily converted to 
God. Several of these became ministers of the 
gospel. Among them was that eminent, good, and 
useful man, John W. Cassatt, of the Cincinnati 
Conference. Another was Colonel E. W. Ellis, a 
prominent lawyer, who afterwards fell at the head 
of his regiment in the terrible battle of Pittsburg 
Landing. In the same meeting General A. J. Wood, 
a graduate of West Point, and a brave soldier in the 
Civil War, was converted, and remained a Christian 
until he died. This forever settled my destiny as 
a traveling minister and pastor in the Church of 
my choice. 

At the Ohio Conference, Bishop Morris pre- 
sided. Some flattering recommendations were 
given me by Elder Raper and others who knew 
me. My name was about the first presented to the 
Conference, and I was received with enthusiasm, 
as I understood, which amazed me. 

The next Saturday after my meeting closed, I 
met Jefferson Morris, of Bethel, Ohio — a son of 
the Hon. Thomas Morris, a former United States 
senator — who called to me and said : 

" Have you heard from Conference?" 

I said, u No!" 

" Don't you know where you are appointed?" 
he asked. 

I replied: "No! I supposed they would not 
receive me !" 

" Not receive you !" he exclaimed. " Why ! you 
are appointed to Georgetown Circuit ; with John 
W. Clarke as preacher in charge !" 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

I was amazed. It was only twelve miles from 
my home, and was a very aristocratic place at that 
time. At once I began to make preparations to go 
out from my home, and to have none of my own, 
as I believed, to the end of my days. My father 
presented me with a fine horse, saddle and bridle. 
One friend gave me a pair of saddle-bags, another 
a buffalo robe, and my loved mother prepared for 
me everything she thought I would need. 

The day came when I must sever the ties of 
affection and love which bound me to the home of 
my childhood, and the many friends whom I loved 
so well. My horse was brought to the gate, and 
the few books I had, and my cloak was properly 
adjusted. My father could not endure the parting; 
so he and my brothers and sisters retired ; but my 
blessed mother remained with me to the last. She 
embraced me in her arms, gave me her parting 
kiss, and said : 

" My son ! good-bye ! God be with you until we 
meet again!" 

For almost half a mile I looked back, and I saw 
her standing at the gate with her face covered and 
alone. At last I went into the woods and was 
out of sight. For twelve miles I felt as if my 
heart would break; and the thought of " home, 
sweet home !" was never so dear to me as then ; 
but since that I have not known what it is to have 
a home, in that sense, and I shall not until I have 
an eternal home, and separation shall never, 
never come ! 

Young, inexperienced, without that deep and 

Younger Years. 


fervent piety and holy peace which were demanded 
of a gospel minister, I submitted myself to go 
where God and the Church appointed, and to en- 
dure whatever cross might be laid upon me, and 
agreed to be known even as a poor, despised min- 
ister of the gospel. 

Before I proceed to give a narrative of my la- 
bors in the work of the ministry upon which I 
was about to enter, it may be well for me to give 
briefly some account of the spirit with which I 
entered the work, and my conviction of the im- 
portance of the great work to which I had been 

First, I did not enter upon it as a mere profes- 
sion to which I was to give the energies of my life. 
I believed that it was my duty to be in harmony 
with God, his Spirit, his Word, and the Church of 
which I was a member. I believed in her doc- 
trines, subscribed to her discipline, and was con- 
vinced that her government and her general 
itinerary system were better adapted to promote 
the spirit of the gospel and to secure the conver- 
sion of men than any other. I felt it was my duty 
to give myself wholly to this work, no matter what 
might be involved in it; no matter what cost or 
reproach it might bring upon me ; that I ought to 
make full proof of my strength, and that the great 
business of my life was the conversion of men ; 
that my mission to men required me to labor for 
their salvation; not because they were rich, or 
poor, but because they were men, and were re- 
deemed by the same Savior. I studied carefully 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

the ministrations of the Lord Jesus; his spirit of 
self-sacrifice, self-denial, his humility and his 
unselfish devotion to the great interest of a lost 
and ruined world. 

Second, I believed that I ought to speak or 
preach so as to reach the masses of society, and 
especially the poor ; that I ought to speak to them 
in a language which they would readily under- 
stand, and in a manner that would the most deeply 
impress their minds, and be the most likely to 
bring them to Christ. 

At this time I began to speak extempore when 
I was impressing a point. I believed that the 
most effective work done by the ministers was in 
their exhortations, and I said to my father on one 
occasion : " Why do they preach? It is the exhor- 
tations which do the work ?" I believed that in 
my entire course and deportment with men I must 
be humble; that I must have the Spirit of Jesus, if 
I would reach the lost of the human beings. 

In the fifty-three years of my ministry I have 
not changed these views, nor have I felt at liberty 
to depart from the course which was marked out 
for me. Thus far I have given the facts, leaving 
others to draw their own inferences from them. 



EORGETOWN is the county-seat of Brown 

V_> County. At this time it was remarkable for 
the general intelligence and aristocratic character 
of its inhabitants. General Thomas L,. Hamer, a 
congressman and statesman of high order, and a 
man who had good prospects for an election to the 
Presidency of the United States, a hero of the 
Mexican War, resided here. A few years before 
this, he, with his family, had united with the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church, together with his brother- 
in-law, General Higgins, and family. Jesse R. 
Grant at the same time united with the Church. 
His son, Ulysses, then a boy, I knew personally. 
Indeed, most of the prominent people had been or 
were members of the Church. Here I found Judge 
Kay and wife, George W. King and wife, Judge 
Sells, the Hon. Hanson L. Penn, William Moore, 
and Mrs. Judge Devore. Georgetown became the 
seat of political excitement, and a number of these 
citizens, while Methodists in sentiment and from 
preference, ceased to be members of the Church. 
Abel Reece was one of the most venerable and in- 
fluential members. He could neither read nor 
write, and yet such was his piety and consistency 
of life that he exerted a marvelous influence and 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

commanded the respect of all who knew him. 
Squire Stapleton was a man of marked character 
and intelligence, and a great factor of righteous- 
ness in all that region of the country. 

The thought of commencing my labors at such 
a place overwhelmed me. Timid and shrinking 
in my disposition, afraid almost of my shadow, 
I said in the fullness of my heart: "Who is 
sufficient for these things?" I never shall forget 
when I stood before a crowded congregation to 
commence my life-work with little, if any, pros- 
pects of success. At the close of my first sermon 
the deepest sympathy was manifested for me, as 
most of them had known myself and family. 
They gathered about me and gave me assurances 
of their deepest sympathy, and sought to encourage 
me; for they evidently knew that I needed en- 
couragement, and I thus entered upon the work of 
my circuit. It contained twenty appointments to 
be filled in four weeks. William H. Raper, a life- 
long friend of my father, was my presiding elder. 
A minister of great ability, noble in spirit, digni- 
fied in person, he commanded the respect of all 
classes wherever he labored. He had been an offi- 
cer in the war with Great Britain in the year 1812. 
He deeply sympathized with me and loved me as 
his own son. He was as brave as Caesar in times 
of danger, and yet gentle as a lamb. My col- 
league, the preacher in charge, was John W. Clarke. 
He was a talented preacher, a loving friend, and a 
most useful man in all departments of Church-work. 
At times he was sublimely eloquent, and exerted 

My First Circuit. 


an overwhelming influence over the audiences 
whom he addressed. 

There were one thousand members in the 
charge. Mr. Clarke said to me : " I will preach and 
attend to the administration of discipline ; you 
must attend to the revival work. Remember, I 
trust you implicitly." To me this was a fearful 
responsibility. During the few months I had trav- 
eled under the presiding elder, the impression had 
gone abroad, greatly to my surprise, that I would 
be a very successful minister in that line of work. 
Their expectations were high. Wherever I went 
I saw that they were disappointed. This became 
more and more apparent as I visited the several 
appointments, until I believed that success with 
me was next to impossible. On my first round I 
became the guest of John Meek, one of the early 
pioneer preachers, who had been a guest at my 
grandfather's when he was a young man like my- 
self. He, with his excellent wife, encouraged me 
as best they could to make full proof of my min- 
istry. He resided in the town of Winchester, 
Adams County. A. Baker, formerly a traveling 
preacher in Kentucky, resided in the same place. 
Here I found Richard Ramsay, a local preacher, 
father of William W. Ramsay, now a member of the 
New England Conference. These favored me with 
their sympathies and their prayers. At Sugar Tree 
Ridge, another appointment, I found a society of 
Irish Methodists, and a local preacher by the name 
of James McCann, good and true, who afterwards 
became a useful member of the Indiana Confer- 


Bjunging thk Shkavks. 

ence. Newmarket, Sloan's, Danville, Beauford, 
and Ross's were appointments on the circuit. 

The last appointment was situated in the 
woods. Mr. Ross was a man of piety, sound 
judgment, and general influence in his neighbor- 
hood. Several of his sons were young men. I 
rested two days at his house, and became intimate 
with them. John, one of these, was a member of 
the Church, but he had backslidden. I asked him 
to walk with me to the forest. I yearned for his 
salvation. Up to this time I had no evidence that 
I had done any good whatever. In the depths of 
the forest I said: "John, will you kneel. with me 
here, and ask God to heal your backslidings and re- 
store you to his favor?" We both wept; and 
kneeling there, we called upon God, and that day 
the I<ord restored to him the joys of his salvation. 
Before the year closed he began to exhort, and 
soon became a preacher, and is now one of the most 
prominent ministers in California, having been 
presiding elder for a number of years. 

The next day I was to preach. A cloud of 
darkness had settled down upon me. I said I 
must have relief, or else retire from the ministry. 
For my own benefit I preached from the words, 
" In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall 
direct thy paths." I was so embarrassed that I 
could not face the congregation. At last I looked 
up and saw a lady dressed in the plainest attire, 
her face all lighted up with a heavenly radiance, 
and tears of joy running down her cheeks. I 
thought, if my humble effort is such a blessing to 

My First Circuit 


that poor woman, I am willing to suffer on, and be 
crucified, if needs be. In a moment the scene was 
changed; the congregation caught her spirit, 
and such a time of rejoicing I had seldom wit- 
nessed before, and my voice was drowned by 
expressions of joy all over the congregation. My 
humiliation was now perfect, my joy was un- 
speakable. A little good had been done, and I 
was ready to ascribe all the glory to Him who 
had called me to preach his gospel. 

Four weeks of labor, one backslider reclaimed, 
and one glorious meeting held in this log Church, 
fulfilled, as far as I saw, my duty. To my sur- 
prise, however, I learned that the preacher in 
charge had appointed a protracted meeting in 
Georgetown, to commence the next Saturday and 
Sunday, and that I was to have charge of it. I 
became the guest of Judge Kay, who gave me a 
cordial welcome, and sympathized with me in my 
work. At the very beginning of the meeting a 
deep interest was manifested. It soon became ap- 
parent that the Spirit of God was moving the 
hearts of the people. A number came to the altar 
as seekers of salvation. The Church, which had 
been divided, became united, and a general revival 
of religion took place. The children of the older 
Methodists were the subjects of it. Hanson L. 
Penn and his wife were brought into the Church, 
and became active members. At least one hundred 
were converted and united with the Church, and 
a very general interest was awakened in a number 
of the other appointments. Wm, M, D. Ryan, 

7 2 

Bringing the Sheaves. 

afterward a distinguished minister in Baltimore 
and Washington City, aided me in this revival. 

A strange incident occurred at this meeting. 
A prominent and devoted member of the Church 
was greatly blessed, and when the services closed, 
a beautiful smile lighted upon his face; but when 
approached he was speechless, and remained so 
for a week. I never beheld such a heavenly face 
as his. By signs he expressed his joy and perfect 
trust in Christ, and then fell asleep in Christ, and 
awo"ke no more on earth. An infidel paper in Cin- 
cinnati charged his death upon us; but physicians 
treated the charge with perfect contempt, and it 
recoiled upon the infidel who made it. 

Another event of much interest to myself and 
colleague occurred. We were called to visit a 
prominent German family at midnight, to pray 
with them and point them to Christ. When we 
reached the place the husband and his wife and a 
young lady were all kneeling and pleading with 
God for pardon. In less than half an hour they 
were all converted, and then kneeled in prayer to 
God for the conversion of their friends and rela- 
tives in Germany. They became pillars in the 
Church at Georgetown. While the meeting was 
still in progress I went to the church one evening, 
full of faith that there would be a great victory, 
that many would be converted. To my surprise, 
I found that nearly all those whom I believed to 
be serious, were absent, and the greater part of our 
working force was away. I was greatly disap- 
pointed and discouraged. Just as I was about to 

My First Circuit. 


close the services without any good results, so far 
as I could see, a messenger came and requested 
me to visit a house near by. When I entered the 
room I found that twenty-five or thirty had there 
been converted. God was working wonderfully, 
though I knew it not. It taught me in my work 
to trust in God, and not in appearances. This was 
the beginning of a remarkable revival all over that 
charge. The terrible temptations under which I 
had labored were now gone, and the people who 
began to lose heart as to my success were now 
extravagant in their expectations of success in fu- 
ture. So true it is that extremes follow each 

My colleague, Mr. Clarke, requested me to hold 
a meeting at a new church, where there had never 
been a revival. The society had been in existence 
for twenty years, but never had numbered more 
than twenty members at one time. The country 
was thickly settled. The inhabitants were not 
under religious influence as a rule. The Seceders 
were the most influential denomination in that 
country, and the doctrines of Calvinism prevailed 
there in their most ultra form. It was a hard field. 
Previous to commencing, I spent a few days at my 
father's. One morning I left for my work at seven 
o'clock. I rode a wild and almost ungovernable 
horse, which would not permit me to carry an um- 
brella. Soon it began to snow, and in a little 
while my clothing was soaked with wet. It be- 
gan to turn cold. I was in a blizzard; the snow 
in drifts became deep, and the wind almost blinded 


Bringing thk Shkaves. 

me. In crossing a creek I lost my way and got 
into deep water. My clothing soon froze on me; 
I made slow progress, and my situation grew 
worse and worse. I had been requested to call at 
the house of one of the members of the charge 
who was rich and fully able to give me the best 
entertainment. About five o'clock I reached the 
place, cold, hungry, and well-nigh dead. My 
horse was tired out. When I called at the house 
the man and his wife met me. I told them who I 
was, and that I had been directed to them for en- 
tertainment; but the looks they gave me w r ere 
colder than the storm through which I was pass- 
ing. My case was desperate; I feared the loss of 
my life, and made the most piteous appeal to them 
that it was possible for me to make. I proposed 
to pay them liberally for entertainment ; but their 
answer was nay. I then said: "Is there a tavern 
in reach ? Do they sell whisky?" To both these 
questions they answered, "Yes." Then I said. 
"I will not patronize them," and left. I was in a 
furious storm, in darkness, not knowing what to 
do, and feeling that I had no friend on earth or in 
heaven. The enemy whispered: " This is the re- 
ward you receive for entering the ministry." With 
me it was the hour of darkness. As I rode on I 
reached a pike, and the first thing which met my 
gaze, after striking it, was a white frame house 
with green window shutters, and every appearance of 
neatness within. Something said to me, Call there, 
and you will be entertained. A bright, cheerful 
fire was blazing on the hearth. I called, and a lady 

My First Circuit. 


coming to the door, answered. I said: " Madam, 
I am almost frozen to death; if you will permit 
me to come into your house and warm myself by 
your fire and give me something to eat, I will pay 
you liberally." She said: " Dismount and come 
in ; we never turn anybody away from our house 
in such distress as I see you are in." She helped me 
from my horse, for I was unable to alight myself, 
and said, "Dear young man, you are almost frozen 
to death," and I said, " Yes." She said: "My 
husband will be in after a little, and take your 
horse and feed him." I said : " If you will allow 
me to lie down on the floor with my feet to the 
hearth, it is all that I ask." She said: "Cer- 
tainly, if I had nothing better for you; but you 
shall have the best in the house." After my wet 
clothing was removed, my horse put away and 
fed, I heard her husband making preparation for 
the night. She inquired: "Where are you from?" 
I answered: "From Felicity, Ohio." "Why," 
said she, "are you acquainted there?" I replied, 
"Yes." Then she said: " Our young preacher is 
from there." I asked : "What is his name ?" She 
answered: "Fee. Do you know him ?" I replied: 
"Yes, I do." "What kind of a preacher is he?" 
I replied: "He can not preach much; but I think 
he is trying to be a good man, and to do good." 
It flashed upon her mind that the young man be- 
fore her, in such a sad plight, was her pastor. 
She ran to the door and exclaimed: "David, Da- 
vid, come here!" He came at once, and with 
smiles and tears, she said: "This is our young 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

preacher." In a few moments there was sunshine 
in my soul and all around me. 

I shall never, never forget the kind treatment 
I received, the supper I ate, the bed upon which I 
sweetly slept, the greetings which the family gave 
me in the morning, nor the loving attentions which I 
afterward received from them. I believe firmly that 
it will be said to them in that day when we shall 
be rewarded for our deeds: "Inasmuch as ye have 
done it to one of the least of these my brethren, 
ye have done it unto me." I learned from them 
that my treatment at the former house where I 
stopped resulted from their dislike of another min- 
ister, and that it was not in any sense intended to 
be an unkindness to me. It was, in a word, an 
example of bitter revenge, for which the innocent 
had to suffer; and now the question was, ought I 
to forgive them? I shall never forget the struggle 
I had. The presiding elder and preacher in charge 
and the common officials of the Church learned it, 
and were indignant. I preached for months in the 
neighborhood, and never received an invitation to 
accept the hospitalities of that house. I was al- 
ways compelled, after preaching there, to ride six 
miles for my dinner. The presiding elder and 
preacher in charge forbade me to preach at that 
point any longer ; but I continued ; for I desired to 
conquer myself, and to say in my conduct and 
spirit: " Father, forgive them; they know not what 
they do." 

In the morning I left for my meeting at Olivet. 
I had never been at that place to preach, though 

My First Circuit. 


I had had appointments there before, yet on ac- 
count of high waters I had failed to fill them. I 
found the people prejudiced against me, and they 
claimed that they had to pay their money for noth- 
ing. They informed me they had paid three dol- 
lars toward my salary. I at once refunded it. 
This to them was a sad affliction ; but I would not 
keep it. I preached under the greatest embarrass- 
ment in the morning. On Saturday night I lost 
my sermon, and preached differently from what I 
had intended. This mortified me deeply. I thought 
I had blasted all hopes of success in my meeting. 
I scarcely slept, but wept and prayed nearly the 
whole night. We were to hold love-feast in the 
morning at nine o'clock. I was humbled in the 
very dust. The doors were to close promptly at 
the hour of nine. A venerable Irish brother was 
appointed to keep the door. When I reached the 
place I found that he was letting everybody go in to 
the love-feast, whether they were entitled to the 
privilege or not. I said to him: "Father David- 
son, are you not violating the rules?" He said : 
u Bub Fee, you'll have to run over the rules a 
little, or you will never catch these wild boys on 
Eagle Creek." I said: "The door must now be 
closed." I found the house full. Father Davidson 
turned the key, put it in his pocket, and seated 
himself near the pulpit. These wild young men 
saw that they were caught, and cast wistful glances 
at the door ; but he gave them no relief. So hum- 
ble was I, that I felt that I was nothing at all, and 
utterly unworthy of the place that I occupied. 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

Under the deepest emotion, I spoke and prayed. 
After the speaking began, the Spirit of the Lord 
came in a wonderful manner upon the people, and 
the interest was so great as almost to prevent the 
relation of Christian experience. At the close, I 
invited persons to unite with the Church, and 
twenty came forward at once. 

Under the sermon which followed the morning 
love-feast, many others united with the Church. A 
prominent citizen was standing near the door. 
John Meek said to me: "I '11 go and ask him to join 
the Church." As he was stepping out of the pul- 
pit, the gentleman exclaimed aloud : " Father Meek, 
you need not come ; I am coming. " And, all broken 
up, he was soon in the arms of this venerable min- 
ister. The meeting at night was simply wonder- 
ful. It continued until after midnight, and when 
it closed, the house was filled with rejoicing people. 
It was estimated that about fifty souls were con- 
verted. Anxious to have a more quiet meeting, I 
endeavored to suppress the excitement ; but it only 
increased it, until my voice was drowned amid the 
shouts and rejoicings of the people. On Monday 
morning the house was again crowded, and, to my 
surprise, twelve persons attributed their conviction 
to the poor sermon I had preached on Saturday 
night. Four of these afterwards became ministers 
of the gospel. The meeting at night was one of 
great interest. At the beginning of the service, I 
remarked: "If you had been two or three miles 
below this on Eagle Creek to-night, you might 
have heard two young men say, 'We will go 

My First Circuit. 


up to Mount Olivet and have some fun over 
these crazy Methodists.'" I then said to the con- 
gregation: " Pray that God may give them some- 
thing more interesting than this to-night." At 
that very moment two fine-looking young men 
sprang to their feet and rushed out of the house. 
Evidently the remark had touched them. I had 
never seen them until that moment. After awhile 
they came back, and one of them began to weep, 
and the other endeavored to take him out of the 
house, but he would not go. At last he fell upon 
his knees and began to cry for mercy. The other 
was soon kneeling also, and in a short time they 
were both powerfully converted, and embraced me 
in their arms, although they had determined to in- 
flict personal chastisement on me when they went 
out of the house. One of them was the son of a 
Presbyterian elder and a judge of the court; the 
other was the son of a prominent Methodist class- 
leader. They both united with the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, and were prominent official 
members for many years afterwards. 

The next day, a young man from the State of 
Kentucky undertook to disturb the meeting. He 
was more than six feet high, and standing on 
the seats occupied by the ladies, remained there 
in defiance of my request and that of the trustees. 
He was very insulting. I talked to him kindly, 
and said: "Have I not treated you courteously?" 
He said : "O yes." " Are you a gentleman !" He 
said, " Yes." "Will you not get down?" He said, 
"When I please." I replied: "If you are a gen- 


.Bringing the Sheaves. 

tleman, you will manifest it by quietly getting 
down. If you are not, you will stand where you 
are." We were surrounded at the time with a very 
rough set of men. The course I pursued evidently 
won them. I said again: "Will you not get 
down?" " Not until I please," he answered. Just 
at that moment a strong man seized him by the 
shoulder and brought him down flat on the floor, 
and then said to him: "If you want satisfaction 
you can have it outside of the church." They left, 
and the meeting went on without further interrup- 
tion. I did not see him again for three months ; 
but at another revival-meeting in which I was en- 
gaged he attended, and was respectful throughout. 
He would not give me an opportunity to speak to 
him, or I should have done so. One morning, at 
four o'clock, I was awakened by the coming of a 
gentleman who desired to speak to me, but who 
would not give his name. I more than suspected 
it was this man, for I heard that he had threat- 
ened me with violence. I dressed myself. He 
stood on the veranda. Without hesitation I went 
out to him, and was surprised to find that it was 
the same man. I extended my hand, and he 
grasped it kindly, and said: "Mr. Fee, I am glad 
to see you." He was full of emotion, and said : 
" Mr. Fee, I left the church last night the most 
miserable man you ever saw. I thought I would 
go home, but was afraid to go lest the Spirit of God 
might leave me ; and such was the pride of my 
heart that I would not come to you, and I sat there 
the livelong night until I said, ' I '11 go and see Mr. 

My First Circuit. 


Fee, if I perish.' Are you willing," said he, u to 
receive such a sinner on probation in the 
Church?" I said, "Yes," and threw my arms 
around him and pointed him to Christ. That 
night he arose before a large congregation and 
said: "I have turned over a new leaf. God help- 
ing me, I will henceforth be a Christian. I have 
done more harm to the young men in this county 
than any other man in it. I am sorry for it. 
I have joined the Church now, and am going to the 
altar to-night to seek the pardon of my sins. If 
you will go with me to heaven, come and meet me 
at the altar. I will not go with you to hell." 
That night he was wonderfully converted, and 
most of his companions found Christ. 

I revert again to the family which refused to 
entertain or pity me when I was well-nigh frozen 
to death. I had made them the subjects of 
earnest prayer, and at the meeting on Eagle Creek 
God began to give me my reward. Two sons-in- 
law and two married daughters of this family 
were powerfully converted ; and then a son, a 
wild young man, was brought under the deepest 
conviction, soundly converted, united with the 
Church, and became a powerful instrument in 
promoting the revival. Two single sisters were 
also converted, and united with the Church, mak- 
ing seven in all out of that family. A son of one 
of these daughters is now a prominent and suc- 
cessful minister of the gospel ; hundreds have been 
brought to Christ through his instrumentality. 
After this the parents, in the most humble man- 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

ner, begged my forgiveness. With tears they be- 
sought me to visit their house, and enjoy their hos- 
pitality. If I had been a prince I could not have 
been more grandly entertained. Ever afterward 
we were friends. They cherished for me the 
warmest love until the day of their death. They 
never would rest until I had a meeting at their 
own church. At this meeting fifty souls were con- 
verted, and many of the old Church members were 
re-converted. Among the converts was a young 
man who afterward became a member of the 
Ohio Conference. Some months previously a gen- 
tleman had sent a note to me as I sat in the pulpit, 
written in the most beautiful script. It began : 
" Mr. Fee, — If you should ever want a friend, you 
will always find one in Elon Francisco. " At this 
meeting the writer of this note was deeply con-, 
victed and powerfully converted, and united with 
the Church. He said that the sending of the note 
to me had been instrumental in leading him to 

At the beginning of the Mount Olivet meeting, 
a young man made his boast to his wicked com- 
panions, that he would feign conversion, and on the 
day the meeting closed, tell me he was fooling me. 
He came forward, and in less than ten minutes 
pretended to shout, and then sang till the meeting 
closed. When the friends gathered around me to 
bid me good-bye, he came among them and said : 

" I want you to take my name off the Church- 
book. Mr. Fee; I don't intend to belong any 

My First Circuit. 


I exclaimed in surprise, " Your name off the 

He said, "Yes." 

"Your name is not on it," I replied. 
"Why," said he, "I gave you my name and my 

"■I know you did," I rejoined; "but I didn't 
consider you worth counting," and the rowdies 
began yelling at the top of their voices: 

" Pete, you 're sold, you 're sold !" 

It is needless to say that he felt deeply morti- 
fied. In less than one year after that he was mur- 
dered as he lay drunk among his wicked compan- 
ions. His was the fate of the scorners. 

One man who had been baptized in infancy, in- 
sisted on being rebaptized. By concealing the 
fact that he had so been baptized, he was rebap- 
tized by sprinkling. This did not satisfy him, 
and he insisted on being immersed. He made an 
arrangement for a preacher to immerse him, but 
the preacher did not get to the place. So he said 
he would be immersed anyhow, and would do it 
himself. Standing on a bridge, he sprang into a 
deep hole, saying : " John Bennett, I baptize thee," 
etc. ; but he was not as good afterwards as he was 

The revival at Mount Olivet was remarkable 
for its depth and permanence, and for its far-reach- 
ing influence. It resulted in the building of a 
new church in a destitute place. 

I was invited to preach in a school-house some 
five miles away, by Squire Greathouse, a prominent 

8 4 

Bringing the Shravks. 

citizen, whose wife, son, and two daughters were 
converted. On the day appointed I found a large 
congregation there. I held class-meeting after 
preaching, inviting all to remain. Several mem- 
bers from surrounding societies were present. The 
meeting was full of interest until near the close, 
when, all at once, a number of ladies shrieked. 
One of the drawers in the writing-desks in the 
school-house was partially open, when they be 
held a huge snake crawling out of it. A man sat 
near, and the very moment the snake's head 
reached the floor, he brought his heavy boot down 
on to its head. There he held it, while it writhed 
at a fearful rate. The congregation now became 
somewhat composed. I did not ask the gentleman 
to speak; for I knew that he was a shouter, and if 
he got up to speak, there was danger that he might 
jump, and away would go the snake ; so the last 
state of that meeting would be worse than the 
first. But he did speak for a time, then calmly 
sat down. When the meeting was dismissed, he 
caught the snake by the tail, and dislocated its 
neck. I was mortified and disappointed beyond 
measure. Mr. Greathouse, seeing my disappoint- 
ment and mortification, sympathized with me, and 
gave me two acres of land on which to erect a 
church. In four weeks from that time, I had on 
the ground seventy-five men engaged in prepar- 
ing the timber for a hewed-log church. It was 
to be thirty by forty feet. The second day there 
were a hundred men, and a number of women 
ready to work. On the third day a hundred and 

My First Circuit. 


twenty-five men were present, and by night the 
church was completed, furnished with benches, 
and ready for dedication. It was called Independ- 
ence Church. For many years it was occupied, 
and was useful in promoting morality and re- 

My next meeting was at Fincastle, Adams 
County. Fifty years ago it had a strong village 
Church. Three local preachers of unusual ability 
for usefulness were connected with it. John Man- 
ker was one of these. His parents were Quakers. 
He never heard a sermon from a Methodist until 
he was almost grown. This first sermon reached 
his heart, and he came to Christ and was saved. 
He united with the Church on the first invitation 
he ever received. He was a man of deep piety 
loving spirit, and his preaching was of a most at- 
tractive character. His family was a delightful 
one. One of his sons became a minister, and his 
praise was in all the Churches. 

Daniel Hare was in early life renowned only 
for his wickedness, but the Spirit of God reached 
him. His convictions were deep and pungent. 
His conversion was thorough, and he became as 
remarkable for his piety as he had been for his 
wickedness. He bore upon his face the marks of 
the sinful life he had led. God called him to 
preach. His natural endowments were good. 
Among the wicked — the very wicked — his preach- 
ing was a power, and God gave him many seals to 
his ministry. One of his sons became an eminent 
traveling preacher in Iowa. He was called in 


Bringing thk Sheaves. 

familiar terms Bishop Hare. He was a very 
strong politician, and he was free to express his 
political opinion everywhere. This gave offense 
to many, and impaired his usefulness ; but he was 
a good man and true, and he doubtless has many 
stars in his crown of rejoicing. 

Frederick Haughawout came from Pennsylva- 
nia. He, with his wife, was consecrated fully to 
God. They professed and enjoyed the blessing of 
perfect love. He was a farmer, industrious and 
economical, prudent and conscientious in his busi- 
ness life, and untiring and successful in his labors 
in the ministry. All who knew him confided in 
him and loved him. He was in debt to some ex- 
tent for the farm which he had purchased. He fell 
into the hands of sharpers in Cincinnati, who soon 
stripped him of everything. He lost his farm. His 
household goods were levied upon for debt. The 
sheriff of the county, who was not a religious man, 
nor even a believer in experimental religion, gave 
me the following account of his visit to the house 
upon the day of sale. A noble Christian wife met 
him most courteously, and said : 

"Mr. Sheriff, we desire to pay every cent we 
owe upon earth. I want you to sell everything we 
have, save one, whether the law allows us to keep 
it or not." 

Said the sheriff : " Madam, what is that?" 

She went to a bureau-drawer, and took out a 
well-worn family Bible. "This," said she, "was 
my mother's Bible. It was to me her last gift. 
She bade me receive it, and keep it as the best 

My First Circuit. 


treasure she had to offer me; and if you take all 
besides, Mr. Sheriff, you will leave me this. It will 
be my guide, my stay, my comfort, as I go out from 
here moneyless and almost friendless." 

She clasped it in her arms, and pressed it to 
her heart, and shouted all over the room praises 
for Him who had given her such a mother and 
such a Bible, and then she sang sweetly, — 

" This book is all that 's left me now: 
Tears will unbidden start." 

Said the sheriff : "It was the most touching 
scene I ever witnessed. I did not levy upon any 
of the property given up. I did not, and I will not 
sell her household goods. They may deprive me 
of my office if they will, but I will never, never 
do it." 

Painful as this whole matter was to Brother 
Haughawout, God overruled it for good, and he 
and his wife emigrated at once to Iowa, where he 
soon became a traveling preacher. For many years 
he was a devoted and honored member of the Iowa 

Here we had a glorious revival. The church 
was re-consecrated and baptized with the Spirit, 
many were converted to God, and some were sent 
out into the ministry; among them Horace Selman 
and Conley McFadden. One of the converts at 
this revival was a lovely young lady. Though 
poor, her devoted life elicited general admiration. 
A young man, who was violently prejudiced against 
the Methodists, had been waiting upon her. After 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

her conversion she believed it her duty to forsake 
his company. This greatly enraged him. All at 
once a report was circulated that she had stolen a 
black silk apron from a lady in the neighborhood, 
and that she had worn it to church on a certain 
Sabbath. The matter became so notorious, that 
charges were preferred against her to the preacher 
for stealing. She was tried by a committee, found 
guilty, and expelled. I could not believe that she 
was guilty. I was permitted to examine the writ- 
ten testimony upon which she was tried and con- 
demned. I was satisfied, more than ever, that she 
was innocent, and I had the case appealed to the 
next Quarterly Meeting Conference. There were 
thirty members present. The decision of the com- 
mittee was reversed, twenty-nine voting for the 
reversion, and only one against ft. It was a most 
triumphant vindication. It was alleged that the 
crime had been committed two years before. A 
short time after she was acquitted, the lady, from 
whom it was said she had stolen the apron, was 
in her garret, which was quite dark, and there 
found the apron she thought had been stolen. It 
had caught on a nail, and remained there for about 
two years. Thus the providence of God vindi- 
cated this innocent girl. Brother Shepherd was a 
most efficient and honored member of that Church, 
as well as one of the most prominent official mem- 
bers of the Georgetown Circuit. Horace Sidwell 
was another honored and useful local preacher. 

Brother Clarke, my colleague, appointed a re- 
vival-meeting in New Market, Highland County, 

My First Circuit. 


in February, 1843, anc ^ required me to hold it. 
This to me was the heaviest cross that I was as yet 
required to take up. From my childhood I had 
learned that it was a wicked, infidel place, where 
it was almost impossible to introduce the gospel of 
Christ. I prayed over it day and night. I was 
anxious to be relieved from the duty, and prayed 
that I might be; but God ordered otherwise. I 
started for the place on the day the meeting com- 
menced. I became so frightened at the prospect 
of failure that, for the time, I gave it up, and 
turned my horse's head toward home, feeling that 
I could pursue my ministerial calling no longer. 
I thought a few moments, and then said to myself, 
I had better pray over this. I went into a thicket, 
and there I kneeled before the Lord, and asked 
for his help. The answer came to me, " Lo, 
I am with you alway." I remounted my horse, 
and boldly rode into the town, and preached twice 
that day with some liberty. New Market was 
celebrated as the residence of Judge Barrere. 
He was an honorable man, very moral in his char- 
acter, and his influence was great. He had a 
number of sons, then in the prime of manhood, 
who followed the example of their father — good 
citizens, but not members of any Church. The 
most prominent was John M. Barrere, the oldest 
son. He was a noble man in his personal appear- 
ance and character, but he was not a Christian. 
He' was one of the most honored members of the 
Masonic fraternity in the State of Ohio. He had 
political influence. No one ever expected him to 

9 o 

Bringing the Sheavks. 

become an experimental Christian. There also 
lived here Thos. Berryman, an infidel in his opin- 
ions, who had published a book in favor of infidel- 
ity. He exerted a very powerful influence upon 
the community, and no one expected him to be- 
come a Christian. Here James B. Finley had lived 
a most wicked and ungodly life. He was called 
the "New Market Devil," but was converted and 
became an eminent minister many years before I 
began my meeting. 

When Sunday evening came, I supposed the 
meeting would close. There were a few discour- 
aged, doubting Methodists ; but they lacked that 
spirit of aggression which would make them a 
successful Church. They were led by a Mr. Shinn, 
a most excellent and exemplary man. I asked 
myself, " How can I have a revival with such a 
small working force?" When the invitation was 
given on Sunday for persons to unite with the 
Church, to the surprise of every one, Miss Barrere, 
the accomplished daughter of John M. Barrere, 
came forward and gave me her hand. Then we 
concluded to continue the meeting. The next even- 
ing her aunt, a prominent lady, united with the 
Church. There were manifest tokens of a great 
revival. On Wednesday morning Mr. Barrere 
visited me, to my great surprise, and revealed the 
fact that he was deeply convinced that he was a 
sinner. He informed me that he had deliberately 
made up his mind that for the future he would 
lead a Christian life, and would unite with the 
Methodist Church, if we would receive him. Be- 

My First Circuit. 


fore doing so, he desired the privilege of delivering 
an address to the people, and asked me to indicate 
to him just when he should make his remarks. 
Nobody had any intimation that he was going to 
do this. Near the close I indicated to him that he 
might now speak. When he arose, all who knew 
him were astonished. He spoke with great com- 
posure of his father, of his own life among them, 
and the reason for the step which he was about to 
take. " My father," said he, " was an honest man", 
and my mother was a Christian." He was over- 
come by emotion, and all the congregation wept. 
I then invited persons who desired to unite with 
the Church when he, with his wife and a son, 
came forward. At night they were found at the 
altar of prayer as penitent seekers of religion. Mr. 
Barrere finally received the evidence of pardon in 
a Masonic lodge, as he often said. He at once be- 
came an earnest worker in the vineyard of the 
Lord, and his infidel friend was soon converted 
also, and united with the Church. Mr. Barrere 
became a useful exhorter, and the skeptic became 
a preacher. 

A little boy only ten years of age was con- 
verted at this meeting. His family were bitterly 
opposed to the Methodists ; but he was faithful, and 
his father, mother, his uncles and aunts and cousins 
were won to the Church through his influence. 
Within ten years from that time there was a so- 
ciety of sixty members in that neighborhood, of 
which he was the leader. Soon after the conver- 
sion of Mr. Barrere he was nominated as a candi- 


Bringing this Sheaves. 

date for the State Senate for the district in which 
he lived. This he declined on the ground that it 
might be said that he had united with the Church 
from political motives. They would not excuse 
him, and a Presbyterian elder said: " Mr. Barrere, 
you will have ample opportunity to prove the 
fallacy of this charge in your future life." Finally 
he asked my advice. I urged him to accept, which 
he did, and he was twice elected to the Senate. 
While he was in Columbus a member of the Senate, 
he was in the habit of attending three class-meet- 
ings, besides the other meetings of the Sabbath. 
He was a remarkable class-leader. He enlisted in 
the army during the Civil War. He lost an arm 
in battle, and was captured by the enemy at Win- 
chester, Va. I have known during my life of but 
few laymen who were his superiors in every re- 
spect. He was a central figure in Methodism in 
Southern Ohio. He rests from his labors, and his 
works do follow him. 


On the coldest day in the year I left the town 
of Buford for an appointment some miles dis- 
tant. I was informed that, by taking a path 
through the forest, I could reach the place much 
sooner; and trusting to the directions which I re- 
ceived, I made the effort. Almost the entire dis- 
tance was covered with ice. I soon had to dis- 
mount from my horse, for he would occasionally 
break through the ice, and it became unsafe. Snow 

My First Circuit. 


was falling, and missing the path I was soon lost. 
I had no idea of the points of the compass, and 
wandered until four o'clock in the afternoon, when 
I became almost completely exhausted. I tied my 
horse to a tree and sank down on the ice, unable 
to go further; even my horse was wearied out. I 
sat until I became chilled. I soon felt comfort- 
able, and was drowsy. I could scarcely open my 
eyes, yet I was about to freeze to death. I made re- 
peated efforts to rise, but could not. I despaired, and 
the thought came to my mind that I would be frozen 
to death and devoured by wild hogs, and that my 
friends would never know my fate. I commended 
myself to God ; but the enemy whispered: " If 
you had only remained at home, this would never 
have occurred." I never shall forget that moment. 
I gave up all for lost. Suddenly a heavenly peace 
came to my soul, for which I was not looking. I 
was filled with the love of Christ, and all fear of 
death vanished. I never had been so blessed be- 
fore; it was help in time of need. Just at that 
moment a man came along, and without perceiv- 
ing me, and without any apparent reason, struck a 
dead tree near me. It was like an electric shock, 
I made a desperate effort to arouse myself and get 
upon my feet. He saw me, came to me, and after 
doing all he could for me, told me I was only one 
mile from the place where I had started in the 
morning at seven o'clock. He took me to the 
house which I had left in the morning. Doctor 
Spees, my host, and his excellent wife, did all that 
eould be done to restore me, and in a few days I 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

was myself again. The experience was a blessing 
to me for many years. 


1 had an appointment at Danville, where there 
was then a new bnt prosperous Church. The year 
before, a revival of great power had taken place, 
and a large society was organized. The gentleman 
who entertained me was among the number con- 
verted, and he gave me an account of his conver- 
sion. He was a New England man, engaged as a 
merchant, and was making money rapidly. There 
lived a short distance from the town a prominent 
Methodist, who kept a very respectable hotel. He 
was licensed by the court to retail liquors and fur- 
nish them to his guests, which he did in a very 
cautious manner. In that day this business at- 
tracted no particular attention, because it was legal, 
and not generally considered wrong. Ministers 
often stopped at his hotel, especially one who was 
a great favorite. My host, Mr. M., said to himself: 
" There is a great deal of money in that business 
for me if I could only induce the hotel-keeper to 
abandon it." He at once wrote a very religious 
letter to the hotel-keeper, setting before him the 
ruinous effects of the liquor-traffic, the harm it 
was doing to the souls and bodies of men, making 
at the same time a most powerful appeal to his 
heart and conscience, and impressing upon him the 
immense responsibility he must meet on the judg- 
ment-day, and signed the name of this favorite 
minister, for whom he had so much respect. The 

My First Circuit. 


letter had the desired effect; for a few days after- 
ward the hotel-keeper abandoned the traffic, and 
became a decided temperance man in every respect. 
My host said he was immensely pleased, and the 
fortune came up before him as certain in a short 
time. As soon as he was established in the 
business of liquor-selling, Joseph M. Gatch com- 
menced a protracted meeting in the town. A spirit 
of deep conviction rested upon many of the inhab- 
itants. My host became a subject of conviction 
also. He found no rest day or night. The wrong 
he had done tormented him. The sermon he had 
preached to another came back with overwhelming 
force to his own heart and conscience. He re- 
nounced the business, snrrendered himself to Christ, 
was powerfully converted, and was then, and for 
many years afterward, perhaps the most useful and 
devoted member of that Church. 


In Winchester, Adams County, there resided a 
Jewish citizen, who had been in business in Mays- 
ville, Ky., and had there married a most lovely and 
accomplished lady, the daughter of Christian 
parents. He was a gentleman of fine education, 
general intelligence, refined manners, and of high 
moral character. In Hebrew literature he had few 
equals, having the largest and best selected library 
in that part of Ohio. He could have commanded 
the highest respect of all classes of persons, and 
especially business men, in any of our largest 
cities. I met him some years after his removal to 

96 Bringing the Sheaves. 

Winchester. The year before my appointment to 
the Georgetown Circuit, his wife had become a de- 
voted member of the Church. I had known her 
in other years, and soon formed the acquaintance 
of her husband. I found him a most genial and 
pleasant man, but he had the reputation of being 
skeptical. Judaism had failed to bring him the 
satisfaction and comfort for which his heart 
yearned. The conversion of his wife had evi- 
dently made its impression. One day he said to 
me: "Would it be asking too much of you to 
come to our house and spend a week or two as 
our guest? We would make you most welcome, 
and consider it a great favor." I at once accepted, 
and in a little while my horse was in his stable, 
and the best room in his house, with his library, 
was at my disposal. The first evening, to my sur- 
prise, I was invited to read the Scriptures and to 
pray. No minister had, previous to this, enjoyed 
the same privilege in this house. The next day I 
visited an appointment in the country. When I re- 
turned, his oldest son, Hyman Israel, came running 
to meet me, bis face all aglow with pleasure. Said 
he: "O, Brother Fee, you don't know how much 
good you have done by coming to our house. Ever 
since you left, father has asked a blessing; and 
last night and this morning he called us into the 
parlor and read a chapter in the Bible, and then 
kneeled down and prayed — O, such a prayer! — and 
he prayed again this morning, and told us we were 
to have family prayer all the time in future." The 
pleasure this gave me was inexpressible. He had 

My First Circuit. 


been reading a work published by Rev. Asa Shinn, 
on the "Attributes of the Deity/' which was the 
means of leading him to Christ. 

I left the circuit in a few weeks, and did not 
see him again until about one year afterward. 
With my presiding elder, Michael Marlay, I went 
to the last quarterly-meeting on the circuit to visit 
my old friends. On Sabbath morning, whom should 
I meet but Mr. I. H. De Bruin? Without any con- 
versation, we walked into the love-feast. It was 
strange to see him there. I wondered whether he 
could be induced to speak. I learned incidentally 
that he, with his son Hyman, had been happily con- 
verted at the altar a few months previous, and had 
united with the Methodist Episcopal Church. I 
prayed that he might witness that morning for 
Jesus of Nazareth. Brother Marlay opened the 
meeting. My Jewish Christian brother was the 
first to speak. He said, almost dramatically: 
"Who is this that is speaking? Is that the Jew, 
the son of Abraham, the skeptic, the rejector of 
Jesus of Nazareth, the proud Pharisee? Yes, I 
have been all these, and more; but I have found 
Jesus of Nazareth to be the true Messiah. I am on 
board the old ship of Zion. I have my passport. 
I .see by faith the heavenly shore. I shall soon 
come warping into port." The effect upon the 
audience was marvelous. It was announced at the 
close of love-feast, " Our preachers are not paid." 
It startled him. He sprang to his feet, and ex- 
claimed: "The preachers must and shall be paid!" 
"Amen!" they cried out from every part of the 



Bringing the Shkavks. 

house. Putting his hand in his pocket, he said : 
"Say 'amen' with your dollars," marched up 
to the front, and in a few moments the money 
was all raised. He was my friend for many 
years afterward ; a bright and a shining light, 
loved and honored, by all who knew him, as a con- 
sistent and devoted Christian. He died in the 
triumphs of the Christian hope. His son, Hyman 
Israel, was called to the ministry, and for many 
years he was a chaplain in the Ohio Penitentiary, 
trusted and honored both in the Church and in 
the State. Thousands of unfortunate convicts, for 
whose good he labored, will rise up and call him 
blessed. He yet lives in Columbus, Ohio, where 
he is honored not only by the citizens, but by the 
prominent men of the State of Ohio. Let us not 
forget that salvation is of the Jews, and for the Jews 
as well as for all. His only daughter, Mrs. Judge 
Meek, of Hillsboro, Ohio, yet lives to honor the 
memory of her sainted parents. 

The opposition to slavery was constantly in- 
creasing. Many of the prominent members of the 
Church on the circuit were strongly imbued with 
anti-slavery sentiments. This threatened to divide 
some of our societies. At the Sloan's Church most 
of the members seceded. They were excellent 
people, and their loss was deeply regretted. A 
bitterness arose which was almost fatal. Almost 
every Presbyterian congregation in that part of 
Ohio was suffering from the same agitation, and 

My First Circuit. 


secessions took place from many of them. From 
these divisions the Presbyterian Church has not 
recovered, and actually lost some of her congrega- 
tions. What was called the Underground Railroad 
had lines running through the territory of my 
charge. Every week fugitives from slavery, seek- 
ing a home in Canada, were pursued by cruel and 
unrelenting masters. Severe conflicts took place. 
On one Sunday night, I remember, a battle took 
place in the woods near the house where I was 
staying, between the cruel and unrelenting mas- 
ters and the Underground Railroad men. Many 
shots were fired ; but nobody was killed. In one 
of my public meetings I had prayed that God 
would change the hearts of the masters, and be 
forced to give slaves their liberty, and that God 
might save both masters and slaves in heaven. A 
stanch Presbyterian reproved me sharply for this, 
and tried to prove by Scripture that it was wicked 
to pray for slaveholders. I endeavored in these 
troubled times to manifest the spirit of Christ to- 
ward all men. A Presbyterian church, which had 
been forsaken by its members on account of vari- 
ous reasons, was tendered to us if we would occupy 
it. This we did, and organized a Church, which 
is now called Free-soil Church, and is a prosper- 
ous organization, connected with the Georgetown 

At this time Leonidas L,. Hamline was almost 
unequaled in the West as a preacher. I knew him 
well, and on this account was able to secure his 
services. He preached twice. On Sunday morn- 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

ing his subject was, " The Proofs of the Reality of 
Fxperimental Religion;" and in demonstrating 
his theme he brought forward the laws of evidence, 
and applied them in such a way as to overwhelm 
skeptics and impress all minds with the truth of 
experimental religion, as revealed in the Bible. 
A large number of the legal fraternity were pres- 
ent, who, with others, gave it their unqualified ap- 
probation. In his argument he was conclusive; 
in peroration he was divinely eloquent. I never 
heard him, even after he became a bishop, equal 
this effort. 

There was in the bounds of my circuit a town 
called New Hope. It was noted for its wickedness. 
There was not one professor of religion among its 
inhabitants ; no preacher was heard there ; no Sun- 
day-school, and no religious services whatever were 
there held. Property became almost worthless. 
The better class of people moved away. Moral 
men, even irreligious men, were not willing to live 
there. The last minister they had was a Uni- 
versalist, but he soon left in disgust. I had a 
burning desire to go and preach the gospel there ; 
but my colleague and officials of the circuit were 
not willing. I passed through it, and mourned over 
its condition, but was told if I stopped there I 
would be mobbed. I was so anxious about it that 
I could not rest. The year was near its close, and 
nothing was done. I had one week's rest, and de- 
termined that I would call there, at any risk, and 
preach if there was an opening. About this time 
a physician whom I knew moved into the place. 

My First Circuit. 


He met me and said: " I am no professor of relig- 
ion, bnt I respect it, and I can not endure my sur- 
roundings. Can you not come and preach here ? I 
know of no other minister who will. You will be 
safe on my account and for my sake." He con- 
tinued : " Three men within two or three miles of 
the place were once Methodists. They are good 
citizens, and generally respected. One of them is 
a magistrate." 

As I made my last round, and was to pass 
through the place the next morning, which was 
Monday, I prayed nearly all night that God would 
help me, and open the way for me. It was sug- 
gested that I might go and see these men, and con- 
sult with them, and have them co-operate with me. 
When I reached the neighborhood I met one of 
them, whom I had once seen. I told him that if 
I could get a place, two weeks from that time, I 
would hold a meeting if they would support it. 
He said: "I will. We can get the school-house, 
which is a mile from town." I rode on for a quar- 
ter of a mile, and met Mr. Thomas, another mem- 
ber of the three named. " My sons," he said, "are 
unconverted. We need religious influence here. I 
will help you all I can." I went one-fourth of a 
mile further, and, to my surprise, I met the third — 
Squire Hendrickson, a man universally respected, 
and deeply concerned about his family. The very 
moment I made the proposition to him his eyes 
were filled with tears. He said: "This is strange. 
I prayed nearly all day yesterday [Sabbath], and 
now my prayer is answered. We will have the 


Bringing the Shkavks. 

meeting at the time suggested. I can entertain 
fifty people, and the other two brethren will enter- 
tain as many as will be necessary, and our friends 
will help us. God is in this whole matter. We 
will let you know all about it in a few days. Do n't 
fail us." With mutual benedictions we separated. 
My friends on the circuit prophesied no good. 
They thought I ought to have one week's rest. 
The only rest I had was in doing my duty. O how 
I pitied and prayed for those wicked people ! 

On the Saturday morning appointed by these 
brethren I was present. I had done all that I 
could; the rest was with God. Would he be with 
me ? To my surprise the house was filled, the in- 
habitants coming out in force. I announced my 
hymn as follows : 

" Of him who did salvation bring, 
I could forever think and sing. 
Arise, ye needy, he '11 relieve ; 
Arise, ye guilty, he '11 forgive." 

I received the most respectful attention, and 
prayed with unusual faith. I announced these 
woids as my text: " Is the Lord among us, or 
not?" (Ex. xvii, 7), and preached as best I could. 
On Saturday night many were convicted of sin, 
came to the altar, and were converted. On Sun- 
day night the work was powerful. In the house 
where I slept, the house of the magistrate, his 
four children were converted, and I think about 
sixteen others. I closed the meeting on Wednes- 
day night, with about seventy-five converted, and 
a Church organized with sixty members. 

My First Circuit. 


As this was purely a missionary movement, and 
in opposition to the opinion of my colleague and 
the official members of my charge, but as I believe 
directed by the spirit of God, I give some of the 
results as I ascertained them at the time and since. 
Here John W. Ross, now of California, was in- 
duced to make his first effort to exhort. His 
brothers, Thomas and Isaac, were both converted 
and became useful traveling preachers. Here 
Enoch Hendrickson, son of the magistrate, was 
converted, and is now a minister of the gospel. 
Here I induced James F. Chalfant to preach his 
first sermon, and the last words he ever spoke were 
spoken to me. He said "New Hope," and died. 
Another who was called to preach, but refused, 
was reclaimed at this meeting, and afterward be- 
came a successful traveling preacher. A very 
prominent and talented young lady, Miss McBeth, 
wrote me forty-five years afterward, that during the 
reading of the hymn, at the first meeting and the 
first sermon, she was convicted, and soon con- 
verted, united with the Church, and finally moved 
to Greencastle, Ind., and, as I learned from Bishop 
Joyce, was a faithful Christian. She married a Mr. 
Coates. She built and endowed the Coates Col- 
lege, in Indiana, which bears her name, and stands 
to-day as a living monument of her devotion to 
God and humanity. For forty years she supposed 
me dead, and was filled with joy when she learned 
that I yet lived to adore the grace which saved her, 
and enabled me to be the humble instrument in 
leading her to God. She is now with God. 

104 Bringing the Sheaves. 

From the time of the meeting until now New 
Hope has been a preaching-place. Some time after 
the meeting a temperance reformation began, and 
the last saloon was driven out of the place. A 
brick church worth three thousand dollars was 
erected in 1850. I had the honor to preach the 
dedication sermon. Many powerful revivals of re- 
ligion have taken place since then. Property has 
become valuable; good schools are established. 
u Godliness is profitable unto all things, having the 
promise of the life which now is and of that which 
is to come." 

I bade my friends, with many tears, " Good- 
bye." Judge Devore and his excellent wife had, 
during the year, given me a home in their beauti- 
ful mansion. The Judge was converted during the 
year, and united with the Christian Church. I 
shall never cease to be grateful to these people for 
their kindness to me, and for the respect shown 
for the gospel which I preached, and their sym- 
pathy for me in the labors which I performed. I 
went to the Conference at Chillicothe to receive 
another appointment if I was deemed worthy. I 
sincerely desired to go where God would have me, 
and where I would be the most useful. I jour- 
neyed to Chillicothe in the old-fashioned stage- 
coach — full of curiosity, as it was my first Confer- 
ence. I was the guest of the Hon. Judge Sill, 
who treated me with the greatest courtesy. I was 
deeply interested in the proceedings of the Con- 

My First Circuit. 

ference, and especially interested in the examina- 
tion of the characters of the ministers. I soon 
found that ministerial integrity, untiring industry, 
and unselfishness in promoting the work were 
qualities which commanded a premium in Confer- 
ence. It became apparent to me that if there 
were any ministers preaching for money, they 
would not find one in the Ohio Conference. Some 
of them were almost objects of pity, their sal- 
aries were so meager that they could scarcely live. 

On the circuit which I had just left the salary of 
my colleague, Mr. Clarke, was very meager, and 
not sufficient to support his family. About three 
hundred dollars was allowed him. I remember 
that three months after I entered upon my labor 
on that charge, I received twenty-five dollars, my 
entire allowance being only one hundred dollars. 
My colleague received but a small amount of his 
allowance. When the money was handed us, we 
were invited to dinner in a wealthy family. After 
the blessing was asked, my colleague sat in silence. 
He seemed oppressed by some hidden grief, I knew 
not what. At last the tears began to flow down 
his cheeks, and, almost sobbing, he left the table 
and went out. Our host expressed surprise at his 
leaving, and I went out to find him. I found him 
still weeping. I said: "Are you ill?" He 
answered, " No." Something must be the matter, 
I knew ; but I pressed him to return to the table. 
He said: " How can I? That table is loaded with 
the luxuries of life. While I am gone, my family 
will have nothing in this world to eat but potatoes. 

106 Bringing the Sheaves. 

You know that my wife is an educated and refined 
woman and a Christian, and deserves better than 
this." I forced upon him twenty dollars. " Now," 
said I, " don't say a word about this; and never 
mention it to me again. Go to the table and eat 
your dinner, and go home as soon as you can and 
expend that money in relieving your family from 
suffering. I will perform the work that has been 
assigned you, no matter what people say, to the 
best of my ability." 

I received only eighty dollars that year. I 
mentioned the matter to a steward, Brother N., 
who had been brought up in the Presbyterian 
Church. He at once called a Church-meeting in 
the town where the pastor lived. The congrega- 
tion had not been noted for liberality, so he said 
this: " Brethren, our pastor lives in Russellville. 
His salary is very meager at the best. He will 
need many kinds of provision for the support of 
his family. He will want flour, and I will give 
him fifty pounds. He will want cornmeal, and I 
will donate two bushels. He will want potatoes, 
I will give him two bushels, and two bushels of 
apples. Preachers are fond of chickens, and I will 
give him a dozen;" and then he said: " Here is 
Brother McN. ; he will give the same amount." 
Brother McN. sprang to his feet in a moment, and 
protested. Brother N. told him to sit down, that 
he was out of order. He called on four or five 
others in the same way, and they all protested 
against it; but he would not let them go. At the 
close there was a lively time ; but he finally told 

My First Circuit. 


them he would be around with his wagon the next 
day, and gather up their donations, and take them 
to the preacher. This program he carried out. 
They soon became ashamed of themselves, and 
were only too happy to make the donations, and 
hear no more about it. I was present, and never 
enjoyed a collection more than that. The preacher 
was now happy again. He said to me : " If moved, 
as I shall be, I shall want you for my colleague.'* 

The Conference closed. I knew nothing about 
my appointment until the bishop announced, "Ba- 
tavia Circuit, John W. Clarke, Wm, I. Fee;" so his 
wishes and mine were gratified. As the appoint- 
ments were read out, the picture was a scene for 
a painting. Some were sad, others were weeping; 
some were indignant, others rejoicing ; but soon 
all this passed away, and, before the sun went 
down, they were off for the work of another Con- 
ference year. To be associated with these self- 
denying men was to me worth more than money. 

Batavia is the county seat of Clermont County. 
It is a beautiful village, twenty miles from Cin- 
cinnati, in one of the finest portions of Ohio. It 
is twenty miles from Felicity, my native place. I 
had, at that time, many acquaintances in the 
bounds of the circuit. It had a membership of 
one thousand persons, and twenty-eight appoint- 
ments, to be filled every four weeks. A pleas- 
ant home was provided for me in Batavia, at the 
expense of the circuit, at the residence of Henry 
Borel. The traveling in winter was very difficult. 
The extreme point was thirty miles distant. Ba- 

108 Bringing the Sheaves. 

tavia, Lynchburg, Williamsburg, New Boston, and 
Fayetteville were the principal towns. There had 
been a most remarkable revival of religion the 
previous year in Batavia. The young converts 
were warm in their first love. Nearly all the 
members of the bar had professed conversion. 
Doctors, lawyers, merchants, and others were min- 
gling together in sweet fellowship. I have never 
known such a state of things since that time in 
any place. Their former ministers, Greenbury R. 
Jones and Jos. M. Gatch, were enbalmed in the 
love of that people. 

My first appointment was at Lynchburg, where 
I was the guest of Judge Devol, a local minister. 
Here I met Dr. Samuel Spees, a member of the 
Church. He was a friend of my boyhood. Mrs. 
Devol was one of the most saintly women I ever 
knew. She took me to the door of my room, and, 
opening it, said : " There is the prophet's chamber, 
which you are to occupy at your pleasure, as 
long as you are on this circuit." She bade me 
good-night, and, while I was kneeling in prayer, 
the impression, so deep that I could not get rid of 
it, suddenly came to my mind, that one of the 
preachers in charge of that appointment would die 
that year ; I could scarcely sleep. So affected was 
I in the morning, that I mentioned it to Mrs. 
Devol. She said: " Child, it is only a dream; 
but, if true, God will take care of all." My col- 
league followed me in two weeks, and while he was 
there an arrangement was made for the transfer 
of Lynchburg and five other appointments to the 

My First Circuit. 109 

Clarksville Circuit. When we next met, he told 
me we were relieved of the burden of the six ap- 
pointments. I confess that when I heard this, the 
painful promonition I had, that one of the preach- 
ers would die that year, vanished at once. I never 
visited that town again. The young preacher on 
the circuit was my college friend, the Rev. John 
W. Kanaga. Henry Baker was the preacher in 
charge. Strange to say, Brother Kanaga on his 
first round occupied that very room at Judge De- 
vol's where I received the strange impression 
that one of the preachers would die. He was 
taken sick, and died in that very room in which I 
had slept. 

I began my labors this year with a deep sense 
of my disqualification for the sacred work to which 
I had been called. The previous year had been 
one of conflicts and intense struggles. I felt that 
I could not endure this another year. I had an 
intense longing for a deep religious experience, a 
closer communion with God, and a love that could 
not easily be quenched by adversity. I needed a 
power from above. I was learning the lesson of 
my own nothingness. The work, to my concep- 
tions, assumed immense proportions. I was in- 
sufficient for it, but sincere and honest. The evi- 
dence of my conversion was clear. I had peace, 
and love, but in measure far too small to gratify 
the longings of my soul. I felt the remains of 
human ambition, of pride, of self-will, and of un- 
belief. In a word, my heart was divided. It was 
" worse than death my God to love, and not my 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

God alone. " For three months I struggled al- 
most day and night for victory. I saw myself, 
with all my imperfections and unworthiness, in the 
gospel glass, until I said, I must have relief or I 
can not continue in this work. It was not a sense 
of guilt, but a loathing of the remains of a carnal 
mind which dwelt within me. Such was the strug- 
gle through which I was passing that my health 
was threatened. 

On the 23d of November, 1843, I was at a 
prayer-meeting at the residence of Nicholas Sinks. 
Anumber of earnest persons were present. I sat 
upon my chair while the meeting was progress- 
ing with the purpose never to leave that place 
until I received an answer to my prayer. I soon 
became oblivious to everything around me. In 
silence I struggled with God, my lips moved not. 
I was alone with God. Never had I such views 
of sin before, and of the depravity of my nature. I 
was there in utter helplessness ; but I was enabled 
to look to Christ, and my faith laid hold upon the 
all-atoning Lamb, and I claimed him as my per- 
fect, my complete Savior. The victory was gamed. 
Christ was now revealed to me in all the fullness 
of his glory. It was the love of Christ; the great 
enemy could not counterfeit it ; the genuineness of 
its divine character I could not doubt. My soul 
went out in supreme love to God, and embraced 
humanity of every grade and condition. Christ 
loved them all, and that was enough for me. The 
love which I felt for them was spontaneous; it 
was as easy to love as it was to breathe the vital 

My First Circuit. 


air. There was no antagonism in my soul against 
God, his providence, or his people. I was in har- 
mony with him. I felt that I would sooner re- 
main awake to the end of my life than to sleep, 
and risk the loss, as the devil tempted me to 
think, of the enjoyment which I then possessed ; 
but I said. 

" ' T is heaven to rest in thy embrace, 
And nowhere else but there." 

I awoke in the morning in the same happy state. 
I spent that day alone. The mystery of this love 
was so great that it bewildered me. It soon ap- 
peared to me that I could not live continuously on 
this mount of bliss, but that God had given me 
this wonderful exhibition of his love in order that 
I might love others, and devote the energies of my 
life to the salvation of my fellow-men. For a 
time, wherever I was, I could but speak of it; my 
soul overflowed with love. 

But now the time had come when I must un- 
dertake the work of revival on my circuit. I had 
a burning desire to commence it. I visited from 
house to house, talked to the people, prayed with 
them, and besought them to come to Christ. I 
did not know that any one in my charge, number- 
ing a thousand, was blest as I was ; but I soon 
found a brother, Jos. Kidd, who had for years en- 
joyed that which filled my soul, and many others 
besides him were partakers of this great salvation. 
The quarterly-meeting came on about this time, and 
the question was whether I should confess what 
God had done for me. I hesitated as to the pro- 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

priety of saying anything about it publicly; for 
several of the ministers had spoken disparagingly 
of it, and they would be present. For a while my 
faith was eclipsed. It so happened that on the 
Saturday of the meeting, Frederick Merrick, of 
the Ohio Wesleyan University, came to the meet- 
ing. We lodged together that night. As we lay 
in the same bed, he began to tell me how he was 
longing for a higher and better religious experi- 
ence. His condition was very similiar to the 
one which I had just escaped. I told him what 
God had done for me. My soul became bright 
again with the joy which I so much wished to 
receive. We wept and prayed together that night, 
and the friendship began which was continued to the 
day of his death, and will doubtless be renewed in 
heaven. The Lord soon gave him the desire of 
his heart, and his consecrated life bore witness of 
the genuineness of his experience. Next morning 
in love-feast I related in simple language the story 
of God's wondrous grace displayed in my experi- 
ence. The ministers, whose opposition I had 
feared, came and greeted me lovingly, and told me 
they had the fullest confidence in the genuineness 
of my experience. A wonderful baptism came 
upon the congregation ; for it was all of Christ. 

God began to use me wherever I went. My 
first meeting was held at a church where there had 
been a severe difficulty for many yeais; the society 
was rent into two parts. It was charged that one 
of the parties had plowed up the graves of their 
relatives. The feud was so bitter that nothing but 

My First Circuit. 

the grace of God could remove it. I had faith to 
believe that God could revive his work; that he 
could pour out his Spirit upon those who were in 
harmony with his gracious plans, and ultimately 
remove the difficulty, and unite a dismembered 
Church. Soon the children of the parties were 
found at the altar of prayer, seeking Christ. For a 
time the parents stood aloof, and the children were 
not converted until the parents stood together 
around the altar. Their hearts were deeply moved 
by the cries of their penitent children. This was 
followed by reconciliation, and peace reigned in 
that Church. While it is most desirable that 
every obstacle should be removed out of the way 
of a revival, arising from a want of harmony in 
the Church, yet God has said: "All things are pos- 
sible to him that believeth." He will not disap- 
point his humble, obedient, and trusting children. 

My next revival-meeting was at Pisgah Church, 
between Batavia and Williamsburg. The Church 
was in a backslidden state ; but in a few days there 
was a quickening among believers, and sinners 
were deeply convicted. When God works, the 
enemy of souls will always be present and employ 
such agencies as he can use to prevent success. 
A man who had been prominent in that Church 
and community, but had backslidden and professed 
to be skeptical, attended the meeting. He endeav- 
ored in every possible way to harass us and hedge 
up our way. When he found any one under con- 
viction he would ridicule him, telling him it was 
all a delusion. He abused me, and the ministry 


ii4 Bringing the Sheaves. 

generally. I was alone for two days while this 
man disturbed me. My colleague, Brother Clarke, 
heard of it, and came to my help. That evening 
he preached one of the most scathing sermons I 
ever heard. His backslidden opposer was in part 
the subject of his remarks. He told him what he 
once was, what he was now, where he was going, 
and what would ultimately be his end. He had 
the sympathy of the audience, and I feared that it 
would destroy the meeting ; but the man appeared 
no more. He was full of rage, and made violent 
threats. The revival now began in great power. 
Many were converted, and added to the Church. 

On the night that the meeting closed, I went 
to my stopping-place and sweetly slept, feeling 
that I was clear of the blood of that man's soul. 
I prayed for him. In the morning, just at day- 
light, there was a rap at the door. My host an- 
swered it, and I heard the voice of a man asking 
him if I was there. He said: " Yes; come in." Imore 
than suspected that it was Mr. S., my opponent. 
When I met him he made a most humble apology, 
begging my pardon, and said he was determined 
to lead a new life, and asked me to receive him 
again into the Church, which he had so abused. 
Believing him sincere, I took his name. The Lord 
soon restored to him the joys of his salvation. He 
became a happy and useful Christian. Forty years 
after this I met him, and such a greeting I scarcely 
ever received. He had been faithful as a Chris- 
tian all the while. How patient we ought to be to 
those who have wandered from God ! 

My First Circuit. 



At this meeting I met a lady, a widow, whose 
prayers and experiences were attended with won- 
derful power, reminding me of the wrestling of 
Jacob with the angel of the covenant. She was 
filled with the Spirit of Christ, and enjoyed the 
confidence of all who knew her. Her name was 
Mrs. Curlis. At my request she gave me the fol- 
lowing history of her life. She said that she was 
married to a man who feared not God, a bitter op- 
poser of religion; withal he drank to excess. This 
continued for years, until her heart was well-nigh 
broken. Despairing of ever enjoying happiness 
with him, she sought the comforts of our holy re- 
ligion. She soon found Christ in the pardon of 
her sins and she was enabled to bear with more 
fortitude than ever the sorrows of her home. She 
attended class-meeting every Sabbath in spite of 
the jeers and scofrings of her enraged husband. 
When he found that this did not prevent her from 
attending to her religious duties, he said to her, 
one Sunday morning: "If you dare to go to the 
class-meeting again to-day, I will burn you to death." 

The question arose whether she should obey 
her cruel husband, or be true to God and the 
convictions of her own mind. She made it a sub- 
ject of earnest prayer, and was impressed that she 
ought to go, and risk the consequences, whatever 
they might be. She was so filled with the love of 
Christ that she felt that she could go to the stake 
for his sake. At the class-meeting she was greatly 

1 1 6 Bringing the Sheaves. 

blessed, and ready for any trial that might come 
upon her. When she reached her home, her hus- 
band met her, and said : 

"Have you been to meeting?" 

She answered, "Yes." 

"You know what I said?" he replied. 

She saw in the house a fierce fire burning, as if 
it had been prepared for some terrible work. With- 
out another word he caught her in his arms, and 
threw her into the fire. Her clothing was ignited 
at once. She screamed for help. A neighbor op- 
posite the house just at that moment heard her, and 
rushed in and rescued her from the flames. She 
was fearfully burned ; and tor a time her life was de- 
spaired of. No word of pity escaped from her brutal 
husband. Her neighbors were as kind as neighbors 
could be. The members of the Church were un- 
remitting in their kind attention. In about four 
weeks she was out of danger, and began to mend 
rapidly. Although she was poor and dependent, 
her temporal wants were all supplied. She had a 
family of children, and, at the end of six weeks, she 
was able to walk around her house, and take care 
of them. During all this time, He who hath said, 
"I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee," kept 
her in perfect peace. After a time her neighbors, 
feeling that it was unnecessary to be so constant in 
their attentions as they had been, seldom visited 
her, and at last her food was all exhausted. She 
found herself without one mouthful to eat. Her 
children were crying for bread. Her trial of faith 
was great; the awful temptation came that God 

My First Circuit. 


had forsaken her. She walked the floor and wrung 
her hands in an agony of grief. Just then these 
words came to her mind, — 

" Peace, troubled soul, thou needst not fear, 
Thy great Provider still is near ; 
Who fed thee last will feed thee still, 
Be calm and sink into His will." 

There was a knock at the door; she opened it, and 
a neighbor set down a basket filled with provisions, 
consisting of everything that a little family needed, 
enough to last a week. " Since then," she said, 
" I have never known what it is to want, nor have 
my children cried for bread. In one moment the 
clouds dispersed, the tempter was gone ; heavenly 
peace reigned in my soul ; I could trust myself and 
my children to the care of the God of the widow 
and the orphan. I did not then know that this 
hymn was in my hymn-book. I did not know for 
certain that I had ever read it." She said: "My 
oldest son was not inclined to go to Church. The 
first time you preached I induced him to go with 
me and hear you. The Word reached his heart 
that day. He was converted, and united with the 
Church when you came round to our appointment 
again. Now he is a happy Christian." Her hus- 
band was at once arrested and confined in the 
county jail, tried, and convicted of attempt to mur- 
der, and sentenced for a term of years to the Ohio 
Penitentiary. He died during the first year of his 
imprisonment. We leave him with the Judge of 
all the earth, who will do right. Cruel, indeed, 
must be the doctrine of the skeptic, which would 

1 1 8 Bringing the Sheaves. 

rob this poor woman of that sublime consolation 
which the Christian faith gives to her. 

We had a gracious revival at Williamsburg, 
mainly among the members of the Church, and 
my colleague was wonderfully blessed. Our quar- 
terly-meeting was held at Batavia. A college-mate 
of mine, a grandson of Philip Gatch, one of the 
first ministers admitted into the traveling connection 
on trial in North America, attended. I had sought 
the salvation of Mr. Gatch while at college, and 
afterward, when I found him at Batavia, I was 
more interested that ever. He was still disposed 
to procrastinate his return to God. After the 
preachers had left the quarterly-meeting, I re- 
mained and held a service in the evening. To the 
surprise of all, Mr. Gatch came forward and gave his 
name to the Church; since then he has been a 
useful and honored member, and a faithful follower 
of Christ. He occupied a seat as senator in the 
State where he was universally respected. Here I 
was instrumental in leading John Ellis into the 
ministry. For some years he was a traveling 
preacher in the West. A very distinguished min- 
ister was present at the quarterly-meeting, and his 
ambition was to win Mr. Gatch to Christ. He was 
greatly disappointed at his failure. I met him 
afterward, and he inquired : 

" How did your meeting result ? Did you have 
any accessions to the Church ?" 

I told him that eight had joined the night after 
he left. When I mentioned Mr. Gatch, he said: 

"Is that possible?" 

My First Circuit. 

I said, "Yes." 

He replied: "It is strange. I never preached 
abler sermons. I was never better prepared, and 
yet I failed. I learned that he was convicted 
under your talk in the evening. I do n't under- 
stand it. I want to know where your strength is?" 

Said I, "Doctor, next to Christ, it is in my 

"You speak at times apparently without prep- 
aration," said he, " while my preparation is carefully 
made. I want to know where my weakness is." 

I answered, "It is in your strength," and re- 
marked that God was not likely to bless the ablest 
sermon if we made an idol of it. He said no more. 
God may choose the very weakness of men to ac- 
complish his purpose. 

I held a meeting in February, 1844, at Cra- 
mer's meeting-house, which was a log building 22 
by 24 feet. There never had been more than 
twenty members in the society, although it had 
been in existence for many years. Only three or 
four would pray in public. In the immediate 
vicinity was a large Catholic population on the 
one side ; on the other was a new settlement rapidly 
increasing. My first attempt to reach this appoint- 
ment was about to be thwarted by high water. I 
was on the Bast Fork of the Miami River, and 
could see the church on the other side. I was not 
certain that my horse would swim, and, with great 
reluctance, I was about to give it up, when a noble- 
looking boy, twelve years of age, approached me, 
and said, "Do you want to go over?" 


Bringing thk Shkaves. 

I replied, "Yes." 

" If you will trust me I will take you over," he 
said. " I have taken over a number of others in 
safety. Unsaddle your horse, while I '11 bring my 
canoe down ; then put your saddle and saddle-bags 
in the canoe, bring your horse to the bank, hold 
him by the bridle, and, when I start, pull him in, 
and I will take you over." 

I did so, and we reached the shore in safety. 
The boy seemed proud of his achievement. I 
handed him fifty cents, but he declined it, saying 
that it was too much. I then offered him a quarter, 
and he declined that. I then tried him with twelve 
and a half cents, the smallest change I had. He 
would not receive that, although I pressed it upon 
him. He said to me, "Are you not a preacher?" 

I answered, "Yes." 

"Well," said he, "I would rather give you a 
dollar than to take one cent from you. My father 
is an infidel, but my mother is a Methodist." 

I loved the boy, and made him a subject of 
prayer. The reader will hear from him again. 

The meeting at Cramer's was intended to con- 
tinue only two days. There had never been a 
revival-meeting there. On Sunday night of the 
meeting, there was a move in the congregation, 
and six persons united with the Church, four of 
whom were Roman Catholics. Meeting was ap- 
pointed for Monday morning. The house was well 
filled. I felt that morning an unusual burden for 
the salvation of men. In the midst of my sermon 
a large, portly, rough-looking young man stood in 

My First Circuit. 


the door and treated my preaching and the serv- 
ices with derision. While I continued to preach, 
he cursed and swore until it was unendurable. I 
prayed to God for help. Suddenly he threw up 
his hands and gave a frightful scream, exclaiming : 
"I'm lost! I'm lost!" I ceased preaching. He 
walked up the aisle to the pulpit pleading to God 
for mercy, and crying out, " Lost, lost !" Finally 
he reached the platform where I stood. In less 
than two minutes from the time he screamed for 
mercy he found Christ, and began to rejoice. The 
audience was electrified. It was a thing unheard 
of, for they knew him to be the most wicked young 
man in all that country. The previous summer 
during a frightful thunderstorm, when trees were 
being struck by lightning, he left his companions, 
ran out into an open field, and, shaking his fist to- 
ward heaven, defied God to strike him ; he was 
almost instantly stricken down by lightning. His 
companions left him for dead; but he recovered, 
and became, if possible, more wicked than ever. 
The conversion of such a blasphemer produced an 
intense excitement. He became a marvelous power 
in the revival ; no one could well resist him. 

At night the slain of the Lord were many. 
The house was crowded to suffocation, as news of 
this man's conversion had gone out in many direc- 
tions. All classes of society became interested in the 
meeting. It even reached a number of the Cath- 
olics in the vicinity, and I was sent for to pray 
with them. The young man, whose name was 
James Granger, became an efficient helper in car- 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

rying on the work, laboring night and day. A 
prize-fighter came to the meeting merely because 
they had told him he dared not come, in order 
to demonstrate his courage. Young Granger 
without the least fear, approached him bodily, and 
exhorted him to come to God. The prize-fighter 
said, " I^eave me but he pleaded with him, until 
this stalwart man trembled from head to foot. 
Granger saw that he had won the day, and, pulling 
him gently, he started, and Granger waved his hand 
and said : " Here comes the bully of Perry Town- 
ship." The man fell upon his knees and cried for 
mercy. He was converted in a short time, and be- 
came a successful worker in the revival. So great 
was the crowd the next night that they built log 
fires around the church in order that those who 
could not get inside might enjoy as much of the 
meeting as possible. A scoffer, who was standing 
near and cursing the meeting, fell like a dead man 
across one of the fires; and but for timely assist- 
ance would have been burned to death. He was 
converted that night. The window-sash had been 
taken out, and in the fullness of his joy he leaped 
through the window upon the heads of the people 
until he reached me, and told what a dear Savior he 
had found. The people who were with him were 
so alarmed they fled in every direction. So great 
was the interest they could scarcely sing, and there 
were only three or four who could pray in public. 
That night the four singers — for we only had four 
who were able to sing — were in a canoe returning 
from the meeting ; the wind turned the canoe over, 

My First Circuit. 123 

and they were thrown out in the stream ; one of the 
ladies had a baby boy in her arms only one year 
old ; she with the others made their escape, and 
the baby did not even wake. That boy is now 
president of a college in Iowa. The singers who 
were too hoarse to sing at the close of the evening 
meeting, by the next morning were completely free 
from all hoarseness, and sang the next evening with 
an interest which astonished everybody. 

That day is one which I shall never forget. The 
house was densely packed ; an awful sense of the 
Divine presence rested upon the audience. I talked 
as best I could on the subject of experimental 
religion. I learned that Mr. Sweet, the father of the 
noble boy that had taken me across the stream was 
there. He had not been inside of a church for ten 
years, and was the terror of the few who were en- 
deavoring to follow Christ in his neighborhood. 
His brother, a class-leader, said to me : "Allen is 
here ; go and speak to him. I am afraid to. No man 
in this region dare meet him in argument. If you 
have the courage to meet him, do it. If he insults 
you, do n't get angry ; for if you do, it will be a 
great triumph for him." After thinking and pray- 
ing for a short time, I felt that I ought to go. In 
appearance he was a noble-looking man, and would 
be a marked figure in any audience ; fearless and 
yet dignified. I introduced myself to him and said: 
"I am very happy to meet you ; I have heard of you." 

Said Mr. Sweet : " I have had the pleasure of 
hearing of you." He was very polite and gentle- 
manly in his deportment. 


•Bringing the; Sheaves. 

" What are your views upon the subject of ex- 
perimental religion, if I am permitted to approach 
you on that subject?" 

"Any one is permitted to approach me on that 
or any other subject, who comes in the gentle- 
manly spirit you manifest. I must be perfectly can- 
did in what I say." 

"You will allow me to be equally candid," I 
said. "I profess to be honest in my views, and 
shall regard you as equally honest as myself." 

Said he : " No one can object to that ; and now, 
sir, as to the subject of experimental religion and 
your views of it ; if they are true, it is a matter of 
the first and highest importance to me and every 
other man. But, sir, I do not believe them to be 
true, and here we join issue." 

" Now," said I, " Mr. Sweet, if it be purely an 
experimental matter, taught as it is in the Bible, 
and attested by the experience of millions who are 
dead and millions more who are now living, and 
whose testimony would be taken in any court of this 
land and before any jury, certainly it is a matter of 
the very highest importance, in which every man 
ought to be interested. If it be true, it is one of 
the grandest things on earth ; if it be a fallacy, it 
ought to be demonstrated and expunged from the 
records of humanity. If it is an experimental 
matter, it is something which you and I may test 
for ourselves. I have understood, Mr. Sweet, that 
you are a chemist. Now suppose that you have 
made a discovery in chemistry, not in accord with 
the views of the great body of chemists. You 

My First Circuit. 


present the matter to a fellow chemist, and he at 
once contradicts yon, on the ground that it is not 
in accordance with his experiments, or his views in 
natural science, and that he regards it as utterly 
foolish and unreasonable ; and without a word he 
rejects it. Would you not say to him : ' Hold, my 
friend ; chemistry is an experimental science. Be- 
fore you thrust it aside, let me say to you, Here is 
my laboratory ; here are my chemicals ; here are 
the rules by which the experiment is to be tried • 
and here are the conditions upon the compliance 
with which the whole matter is determined. You 
have no experience upon the subject; I have.' 
Would that proposition, on your part, be unreason- 
able to him?" 

44 Most assuredly not." 

''The same principle will apply, if possible, 
with a greater force to the subject of experimental 
religion. Mr. Sweet permit me to ask you if you 
have ever been a Christian ?" 

" Never." 

" Have you ever read the Bible through and 
through ?" 
" Yes." 

" Have you not read with a critical spirit, more 
to find fault with it than to embrace its doctrines 
and to obey its precepts?" 

" I rather think that has been the character of 
my investigations." 

" Millions once believed as you now do, and yet 
have been induced to try the experiment for them- 
selves, and have found the religion of Christ, or 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

experimental religion, a blessed verity. Living and 
dying, they have attested its truth and have been 
monuments of its power. Again, I ask you if 
there is not argument in all this to induce reason- 
able men to make the experiment for themselves. 
If you have any objection to all this, please state 
it; for I desire to be candid and true." 

" Well, I must confess I do not. I never saw it 
in this light before. No one ever approached me 
as you have ; your fairness and the spirit you 
manifest wins me. You have been so candid and 
fair with me, that I ought to meet you in the same 
spirit. How shall I make the experiment? What 
shall I do ?" 

I replied : " I will come at once to the point, 
and be as practical as I can. It is as much your 
privilege as mine to know whether these things are 
so or not. Take the Bible and read it twice at 
least each day ; not to find fault with it, but to learn 
what it teaches. Many object to the Bible, because 
its teachings are against them and their conduct. 
When you learn what it teaches, treat it as you 
would the teachings of any other book. Abandon 
whatever it forbids, and do sincerely whatever it 
commands, as far as you can. It is said, 1 If any 
of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God that giveth 
to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it 
shall be given him.' Pray twice each day in secret 
for Divine guidance and help, that you may be led 
into all truth. Do this for two weeks, and if at the 
expiration of that time, there is no change in your 
views and feelings on this subject, I will confess 

My First Circuit. 


that I am entirely mistaken. If yon find there is 
no such thing as experimental religion, then you 
have demonstrated a proposition that has never 
been demonstrated before, and you will be none the 
worse for having made it. Mr. Sweet, I ask you 
lovingly, will you make this experiment ? It shall 
be a matter between us. I will never reveal the 
agreement between us until you authorize me to 
do so, or until you do it yourself." His face 
became almost as pale as though he were dead ; 
he trembled from head to foot, and for a time 
made no reply. With great agitation he said : 

"As you have approached me so kindly, and 
dealt with me so fairly, how can I do otherwise ? 
I will. And now, in view of this, I will commu- 
nicate to you that which I never mentioned to any 
one. In my belief, I have been an infidel for 
many years. I denied the doctrine of future pun- 
ishment on the ground that there was more evi- 
dence against it than there was for it ; and yet I 
now confess that I have always had my doubts 
about the truth of my position, and these doubts 
have made me a very unhappy man. I have traveled 
all over this Western world ; for months at a time 
I have hunted in these Western wilds, with the 
hope that I might find a rest for my mind in the 
excitements of the chase, which I had not found 
in other pursuits of life. I have yearned for some- 
thing better and more permanent. For a number 
of years past this unrest has been my constant 
companion and has preyed upon my mind, until 
my health is somewhat impaired and my business 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

affairs are going into confusion. If there is in ex- 
perimental religion that which you claim for it, I 
would give the world to possess it ; but it seems to 
me that it is beyond my reach." He pressed my 
hand as he held it, and looking sorrowfully in my 
face, said, " I am glad that 1 met you." I in- 
vited him to come to the meeting at night. He 
thought he would. The house was crowded almost 
to suffocation, but I saw nothing of him. I gave 
an invitation for persons to come to the altar for 
prayer, and to my great surprise Mr. Sweet came 
forward, and as he kneeled, put his arms around 
me and said : " O, pray for me, I am such a sinner. 
The first prayer I made, and the first chapter I 
read, broke my heart." For a long time I kneeled 
beside him ; but he found no comfort that night. 

The next morning the meeting began at nine 
o'clock. Mr. Sweet was there. Every seat in the 
house was filled with penitent seekers of salvation. 
Seven gray-headed men kneeled side by side and 
sought and found Christ. About all that I could 
do for a time was to stand and weep over the 
broken-hearted seekers of salvation. Mr. Sweet 
kneeled, facing the congregation. Deep agony was 
pictured in his face. For a long time he sought, 
apparently in vain. I remained with him, deter- 
mined not to leave him until the victory was 
gained ; for I saw that it was not far away. Soon 
he paused, astonished at something that had taken 
place ; looked upward and then around ; laid his 
hands on his head, and then upon his breast ; at 
last he arose and exclaimed : "I have found it ; I 

My First Circuit. 


have found it ; I have found it ! Experimental 
religion is true ! You, who know me, are aware 
that I would not make this profession to save my 
right arm if it were not so. 1 ' The scene was inde- 
scribable. His infidel friends followed his exam- 
ple. His son, the boy who carried me over the 
stream, was powerfully converted ; and with his 
father united with the Church. Mr. Sweet had the 
largest library of any man in that part of the 
country, composed mainly of standard infidel 
works. That day he made a bonfire of them, and 
said that they should not poison other minds as 
they had poisoned his. From that hour until he 
died he was loyal to Christ and to the profession 
which he had made. His son became one of the 
prominent citizens of St. L,ouis, and is probably 
living yet, an example of that religion which he 
experienced in the days of his youth. 

The entire Catholic population became aroused 
and alarmed to such an extent that they sent to Cin- 
cinnati for Arcbishop Purcell to come up, and, if pos- 
sible, arrest the work and save the members of his 
Church. He came, but a number of them were con- 
verted. The work extended for nine miles around in 
the country, and resulted in the building up of an- 
other congregation and the erection of a church some 
miles away. It is now called the Burdsall Chapel, 
and has been for many years a flourishing society. 
From one who had lived in the neighborhood — the 
Rev. B. Burdsall, a member of the Cincinnati 
Conference, who has investigated the matter — I 
learn that thirteen persons, as a result of that 

130 Bringing the Sheaves. 

meeting became ministers of the gospel. The one 
so wonderfully convicted and converted at the first 
meeting, was, the last time I heard of him, a suc- 
cessful minister in the State of Indiana, and the 
others have gone out in the vineyard of the Lord 
proclaiming the truth as it is in Jesus. During 
six days of the meeting in that little log-house, 
one hundred and forty-five united with the Church, 
and many went into other Christian Churches. 
One hundred and seventy-five souls were converted 
in all. David Swing, of Chicago, was one of the 
number. Dr. John Miley, professor in Drew The- 
ological Seminary, who was well acquainted with 
the place, says : "It is the most remarkable 
revival of modern times." It is the L,ord's doing, 
and it is marvelous in our eyes. To Him be all 
the glory. 

This year there was great excitement over the 
division of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 
consequence of slavery ; but the revival spirit still 
continued, and in the latter part of the year I had a 
powerful revival at the Ross appointment. I never 
suffered anything to divert me from the work to 
which I had been called. I spent part of my 
time in Williamsburg with my relatives, Dr. 
Pease and his family. The doctor was not a Chris- 
tian, and excused himself on account of the con- 
duct of unworthy members of the Church ; but his 
quiet, faithfu wife remained true to Christ. At 
times he would speak in tones of the severest con- 
demnation of the conduct of the members of the 
Church. I bore this as best I could, and finally 

My First Circuit. 

said to him : " These people whom you condemn 
are my friends. If they were here to speak for 
themselves, I would not say a word ; it is my duty, 
as a Christian, to defend them in their absence." 
"That," said he, " is right." After a long pause 
he continued : " I am going to the country to see 
a patient. I think he needs also a spiritual phy- 
sician. Will you go with me?" I agreed to do so. 
Little was spoken on the way to the place. He 
prescribed for his patient, and then left him to me. 
I talked and prayed for him, which proved to him 
a great blessing. This did not add anything to 
the doctor's good-nature. When we reached home, 
as we sat at the table, he spoke more unkindly 
than ever; until I said: "Doctor, the reason for 
all this is found in the fact that you are wrong from 
head to foot, soul and body ; and when you get 
right, you will have a higher opinion of humanity." 
That I should speak thus at his own table was a 
surprise to him ; but this ended his complaints 
against Church members, and he took especial 
pains afterward to treat me with marked kindness. 

There was a camp-meeting near Williamsburg, 
and Mrs. Pease desired to go. The doctor did n't 
believe in camp-meeting, and would not attend; 
but requested that I should take care of their tent, 
and supply his place as best I could. My cousin 
was greatly pleased at the arrangement. He sent 
our goods out, and when we arrived at the place he 
had a most beautiful tent, with every convenience, 
prepared. By night it was ready for occupancy. 
The doctor was there in the evening to see how we 

132 Bringing the Sheaves. 

were doing, and said that he might be ont again. 
So interested did he become he scarcely missed one 
meeting. He had the largest practice in that conn- 
try; but, despite this, he was faithful and punctual 
upon all the services of the camp-meeting, was de- 
lighted with it, and spoke no unkind words of the 

At the close of the camp-meeting I had finished 
my work, and was compelled to leave a home which 
had become very precious to me. My horse was 
brought to the step, and the doctor extended his 
hand, and said: 

"Mr. Fee, you do not know how sorry we are 
that you are leaving us, and you will never know 
what a blessing you have been to my family. I am 
not a Christian." 

I thanked him for all his kindness to me, and I 
said : 

" Doctor, perhaps I shall never see you again ; 
but it pains me to leave you out of Christ and on 
the road to hell." 

We both wept in silence. Four weeks after- 
ward I received a letter from Mr. Clarke, who re- 
mained upon the charge, commencing thus : " I write 
this at the request of Dr. Pease, who has been at 
the point of death. He was given up to die ; but, 
after a long struggle, was to-day powerfully con- 
verted, and is the happiest man I ever saw. He 
said, 'Write at once to Brother Fee, and thank 
him for his persistent prayers and efforts for my 
salvation.* " The doctor became one of the most 
prominent members of that Church, lived for many 

My First Circuit. 


years, and died in trie faith. The Wests, the Peter- 
sons, the Sinks family, the Salts, the Cains, the 
Smiths, and the Dudleys, stood by and helped, and 
were to me a blessing, as they were to the Church. 
I always loved Williamsburg and its people. Four 
hundred and fifty souls were added to the Church 
during the year, and I think more than five hun- 
dred were converted. I wonder that God should 
lead me thus ; but his ways are past finding out. 

Our Annual Conference was to be held at Mari- 
etta. I went to Cincinnati, and there took a steamer 
to Marietta. Bishops Soule and Waugh presided 
over the Conference. I was received into full con- 
nection, and became a member of the Conference. 
Bishop Soule ordained me a deacon. I shall never 
forget the impressions on my soul as the bishop con- 
secrated me to this office. The Conference was one 
of great interest to me. I heard a sermon of won- 
derful power by Granville Moody against " Universal- 
ism." When the appointments were read and the 
Conference closed, about seventy-five of the preach- 
ers took a small boat for Cincinnati. The river 
was very low, and we often ran aground ; sometimes 
for twelve hours we remained fast in the sand or on 
a rock, and we all worked with might and main to 
get her off. 



AT the close of the Conference at Marietta I was 
appointed by Bishop Sonle as junior preacher 
on the Eaton Circuit, with William H. Raper as 
presiding elder, and William Routledge as preacher 
in charge. As Brother Raper had been my first 
presiding elder, and my father's intimate friend, and 
as he always treated me with the affection of a 
father, I was delighted to be under his jurisdiction 
again. My second presiding elder was Michael 
Marlay, a man of distinguished ability and of a 
kind and loving heart. I was only reconciled to 
leaving him from the fact that I was going to 
a district over which Brother Raper presided. 
Brother Routledge was an Englishman, conscien- 
tious, able, and true in his ministration. He was 
my loving friend, and was always true in his rela- 
tionship to me. 

About the 1st of October, 1844, I traveled on 
horseback from Felicity, Ohio, to Eaton, the county 
seat of Preble County. It was a long, lonesome 
ride. On that journey I saw the first railway train 
I ever beheld. I reached my field of labor a total 
stranger. I put up at the residence of Judge Jacob 
Chambers, who for fifty years has been my personal 
friend. George W. Maley and my college class- 
mate, Moses Smith, were the preachers the year be- 
134 . 

Baton Circuit. 


fore. A Presidential election was at hand, and 
party spirit ran high, and there was much bitter- 
ness of feeling. The circuit had ten appointments, 
to be filled in four weeks, with a membership of 
less than four hundred. It was in a beautiful 
section of country, and was a desirable appoint- 

I began a protracted meeting at Johnsville dur- 
ing the week of the Presidential election. Here 
there was a new church, worth twenty-five hundred 
dollars, built by fifteen members, male and female, 
and dedicated free from debt. The Camlins were 
the leading members of that society. We met 
severe opposition during our meeting. One lady, 
the daughter of a Virginia congressman, made sport 
of our exercises ; but the Spirit of God reached her 
heart, and she fell upon the floor powerless, and for 
two hours was scarcely able to speak. After this, 
great fear fell upon those who would have treated 
religion with contempt. A number were con- 
verted, and the society was greatly strengthened 
and blessed. 

West Alexandria, Sugar Valley, Camden, Enter- 
prise, and Summerville, were the principal preach- 
ing-places. The work seemed small to me. I had 
an earnest desire to be progressive; but I found 
little of the same spirit on the charge. To me the 
members seemed to be asleep, and it was difficult to 
arouse them. At first I felt lonely, as I was among 
total strangers. There was one point called Eid- 
son's. They said to me: "When you get to Eid- 
son's you will be at home." Brother Eidson I found 

136 Bringing the Sheaves. 

to be a noble man. When I rode up to his house, 
he met me at the gate, and opening it, said: 

"Alight ; I will take your horse. I never allow any 
preacher, young or old, to put his own horse away." 

He conducted me to the house, and, pointing to 
a room, said : 

"In this room John P. Durbin first studied 
grammar, and I love it for his sake, and want you 
to do the same." 

His wife and sons came in, and in half an hour 
I was perfectly at home. 

After the Presidental election there remained 
much bitterness. The Church was divided, and the 
prospect of doing good in Eaton was very meager. 
I was requested by the preacher in charge, early in 
the year, to hold a revival-meeting in Eaton. This 
was opposed by many, on the ground that it was a 
very busy time in the year, and that we never could 
do any good until the existing difficulties were 
settled. I took the ground that the best way to 
settle the difficulties was to have a revival of relig- 
ion ; and while it was a busy season of the year, it 
was also our duty to be fervent in spirit, serving the 
Lord. I found the prospective meeting was not 
greatly desired. A prominent lady said to me : 

"We have a very respectable Church, and all 
our members are very respectable people; but I 
fear that if you have a revival, you will get into the 
Church some who are not respectable." 

The remark shocked me. I said : 

"Madam, that chills every drop of blood in my 

Eaton Circuit. 


We began a meeting, and continued for almost 
a week. Those who were involved in the difficul- 
ties thought that we could not succeed until their 
matters were settled. I prayed day and night, and 
fasted as well. For three days and nights I scarcely 
ate or slept. I was the guest of Judge Chambers. 
His devoted wife pitied me, and declared I would 
be sick, and that I ought not to take the burden of 
the Church upon my heart in that way. She asked 
me to go to my room, and abandon the effort. I 
did go to my room, but in the deepest agony. 
After praying, I lay down to rest. At last I had the 
impression that if I would pray once more, my 
prayer would be answered. I arose and prayed 
that God would, that very night, revive his work 
gloriously. I had wonderful peace. I went out 
and told the members of the Church that God had 
answered my prayer, and that a revival would begin 
that night ; but they thought me fanatical. I went 
to the church feeling assured that the victory for 
which I prayed, awaited me. I took for my text the 
words, "But we preach Christ crucified." I only 
preached twenty minutes ; at the expiration of that 
time I invited persons to come forward to the altar. 
Forty came at once, and ten professed conversion. 

The judge believed that God was with us of a 
truth. Indifference and skepticism disappeared. 
The people were drawn more closely together in 
the bonds of Christian love than they had been for 
years. One who had prophesied that there would 
be no revival until certain wrongs were righted, 
saw that he was mistaken. The light of the Holy 

138 BrinCxIng the Sheavp:s. 

Spirit revealed to him the dangerous position which 
he occupied. 

The end of the week came, and there was no 
abatement in the work. Public attention was 
drawn to the persons who were supposed to be 
prominent in the difficulties which had divided 
the Church for years. They were men of firm and 
resolute temperament, and were not likely to sur- 
render to any influence. On Sabbath morning at 
four o'clock, I was surprised by the announcement 
that a gentleman wished to see me in the parlor. 
I was delighted to find that it was Mr. F., who 
was more involved than any other man in the dif- 
ficulty. He had withdrawn from the Church some- 
time before. He said : 

"I am miserable beyond description. I must 
return to the Church, or I am ruined. I desire to 
have the difference between Judge Chambers and 
myself reconciled. I want the reconciliation to 
take place in public, and then, if there is no objec- 
tion, I want to return to the Church this morn- 

At nine o'clock there was to be an experience- 
meeting. The church was well filled, and the 
power of God was manifest. All hearts were 
moved and melted. At the close I gave the 
brother, Mr. F., who had visited me in the morn- 
ing, the opportunity of making a brief statement. 
He said: 

"I am here to settle this difficulty for ever. 
Let the past be buried. If I have injured Mr. C, 
I ask his forgiveness, and I certainly forgive him. 

Eaton Circuit. 


And now, Judge, I am willing to meet you half- 

The Judge exclaimed: "Brother F., I am will- 
ing to meet you all the way!" And, rushing to 
where Mr. F. was, he threw his arms around him, 
and came within the altar, and, kneeling before the 
congregation with their arms still around each 
other, they wept and rejoiced. The effect was in- 
describable. Sinners felt that nothing but the 
power of God could produce such a result. Mr. F. 
was joyfully received into the Church, and the 
work went on gloriously. 

During the meeting a number of prominent per- 
sons united with the Church ; among whom might 
be named Josiah Campbell and wife ; Mrs. J. S. Haw- 
kins, the wife of that distinguished lawyer, Sevier 
Hawkins, one of the prominent men of the State 
of Ohio ; Mr. McCabe, and others. 

One night I approached a prominent citizen 
named Chrism an, who appeared to be excited. 
He told me he was not a Christian, but that he felt 
the need of becoming one. As I pressed the sub- 
ject upon his earnest attention, and besought him 
not to defer it, he said : 

"I am not going to be a Methodist. I shall 
unite with the Lutheran Church." 

I replied: "I do not ask you to join the Meth- 
odists; my object is to lead you to Christ. Now, 
as you have made up your mind to unite with the 
Lutheran Church, do it as soon as you can. De- 
lays are dangerous." 

I exhorted him more earnestly to follow the 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

convictions of his mind in the matter as he had 
expressed them to me. 

The next evening he came forward with his 
wife, and united with the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. I said to him at the close of the service: 

"This is unexpected to me." 

"Well," said he, "I supposed when you were 
pressing the subject of religion upon me so ear- 
nestly, that if I told you I would unite with some 
other Church, you would let me alone. When you 
exhorted me as you did to go to another Church, 
I was confident that you were perfectly sincere; 
and the result was that my wife and I embraced 
the first opportunity to unite with your Church." 

Mr. Chrisman lived for many years, an exem- 
plary and devoted member of the Church, and died 
in the faith of the gospel. 

There was one prominent citizen who had the 
idea that he would not be responsible for his con- 
duct, until he united with some Church, and took 
upon himself, publicly, the obligations of religion. 
He was a peculiar man, and I knew not how 
to approach him. One day a member of the 
Church advocated very nearly the same doctrine. 
The gentleman was present, fortunately, and this 
gave me the opportunity of combating this matter 
in his hearing, but in a very indirect manner, it is 
true. The member of the Church abandoned the 
idea in a short time ; but I still continued to refer 
to the subject, until the Church member was al- 
most offended, and I had to explain to him the 
reason I did it. The argument convinced the man 

Eaton Circuit. 141 

of his error, and he and his wife united with the 
Church, and became two of the most prominent 
members. We ought to study the peculiar dispo- 
sitions of men, that we may know how to approach 
them, and lead them to Jesus. 

During this revival, Frederick Merrick, so long 
the honored president of the Ohio Wesley an Uni- 
versity at Delaware, was with me almost one week. 
Here a friendship was renewed between us, which, 
on his part, continued until he died, and mine for 
him will live forever. 

We next held a revival-meeting at Sugar Val- 
ley, about eight miles from Eaton. There was 
some interest, and great good was done, and an in- 
fluence was exerted upon adjoining societies which 
was of lasting benefit. Here I was the guest of 
John C. Deem and his wife, who was the daughter 
of Moses Crume, one of the pioneer preachers of 
Ohio. For almost fifty years they have been em- 
balmed in my memory, and I have loved them as I 
seldom love any persons. Jesse Simonson, with 
John Wall and Brother Elliot, stood by me as a 
band of loyal men, ready for every good word and 

From there I went to Macedonia Church. I 
held meetings for a week, and a blessed revival 
followed. Nathan Hornady, a man of great power, 
was a local preacher in this place. Up to this 
time my labors had been incessant, and more than 
I could well endure. My colleague, believing that 
God had called me specially to revival work, placed 
almost every meeting under my personal super- 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

vision. This, I believe, was too much for me, and 
became so great a trial that, at times, I was 
tempted to think that he was not a man of true 
sympathy, or he would not do this. I soon found 
that he honestly believed it to be his duty to place 
me in the front of this revival work, and, as an 
obedient son in the gospel, I yielded, though, I 
must admit, with much reluctance. 

Somerville, Butler County, Ohio, was the next 
place assigned me by my colleague. It was a vil- 
lage of several hundred inhabitants, in a wealthy 
section of country. It was, morally, under Presby- 
terian influence. There was a Baptist Church, and 
also a small Methodist Church, few in numbers, 
feeble in their influence, and greatly discouraged. 
They appeared to have no hope of anything 

I was so fatigued in body and depressed in 
spirit when I began the meeting, that I felt un- 
equal to the task. I had no prospect whatever of 
any ministerial help, nor of any human help from 
any quarter. The principal man in the Church, a 
steward and class-leader, had been for years a 
United States marine and a sailor. He had fought 
the Lord's battle in that place almost alone for 
years. The society was just alive, and that was 
all. Three or four other members, who were very 
timid and were not in any sense progressive Chris- 
tians, stood by him. When I reached the village 
on Saturday morning, my heart was deeply de- 
pressed. I went to see Mr. Iy., the leader and 
steward. He called me lieutenant. "Well, L,ieu- 

Eaton Circuit. 


tenant," lie said, " I understand you come here to 
hold a meeting?" 

I answered, ''Brother Routledge has sent me 
here for that purpose." 

He very bluntly and roughly replied: 

"I am surprised that he should send such a 
stripling as you to such a place as this. I thought 
he had more sense than to do that. Why, you 
can't do anything here ! I know this place ! Some 
of the ablest preachers in the country have been 
here, and were not successful, and it would be per- 
fect vanity in you to suppose you can succeed where 
they have failed. The people will not sustain you. 
Mr. H., the pastor of the largest Church in this 
place will not permit you to succeed. Every young 
man who comes here is frightened away by him." 

"How does he do this?" I asked. 

"You will find out," said he. "Why, if the 
apostles were to make an effort here they would 

Thus he continued for some time. I had little 
if any hope, at the beginning ; but Mr. L. brought 
me to a state of desperation. I felt as if my heart 
would break. I made a final remark that I had no 
hope but in God ; and went to the place where I 
was to be entertained without, as I remember, one 
spark of hope or ray of light. With me it was 
" the hour of darkness." I thought, " O, the cruelty 
of my colleague, and the still greater cruelty of 
this leader and steward, who had shivered my last 
hope of doing any good!" I went into my room, 
and locked the door. I had no resource but God. 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

I looked to him. I laid my bleeding, open heart 
at his feet, and asked for his pity — the pity and 
the help, which had been denied me by those from 
whom I had the right to expect it. I was wonder- 
ing whether God had abandoned me or not, when 
there came a rap at the door. I opened it, and a 
noble-looking man met me. There was sympathy 
in his face and manner, which impressed me favor- 
ably at once. Said he : 

" My name is P. I am an elder in the Pres- 
byterian Church. I have been pleased to learn 
that you are about to commence a meeting in the 
Methodist Church for the promotion of a revival. 
I learn that you are a young man. We greatly 
need a revival in this town, as we have not had 
one for many years. I have been concerned about 
you, and have made your meeting and your work 
a matter of much prayer. I lay upon my bed last 
night, and prayed until I fell asleep. I am not a 
believer in dreams ; but I had a dream last night 
which deeply impressed me, and at the risk of 
being regarded as superstitious, I must relate it to 
you. As you are a young man, it might encourage 
you ; for you have a fearful task before you. I 
dreamed that, in looking over our village, I saw a 
flock of doves flying over and around the town. I 
thought they would alight on the Presbyterian 
church, but the members were quarreling and 
fighting. They then hovered over the Baptist 
church, and seemed disposed to settle there ; but 
the Baptists were fighting also, and the doves were 
driven away. Then they circled around the town 

Eaton Circuit. 


until they spied the little Methodist church, and as 
they have not life enough even to fight, the doves 
settled down upon the roof and remained there. I 
counted them, and there were just fifty-two, and it 
was impressed upon my mind that you would have 
a revival at your meeting and that you would have 
fifty-two converts. I know not what you may 
think of this ; but I have given you my dream, 
and I pray that God may bless you, young man, 
in the work in which you have engaged, and that 
you may be a blessing to the Churches of Som- 

Dream as it was, it strangely inspired me with 
the belief that, after all, God sent it, and that good 
was to be done. It was really an uplift to me. 
I felt a courage that I had not realized before. I 
was now leaning upon Divine power more than 
upon human. I was nothing ; my sufficiency was 
of God. I went to the church. There was, unex- 
pectedly, a large congregation. My sailor brother 
was there, and a friend came and whispered to me 
that the minister, alluded to as the terror of all 
young men, was present ; but I had now more of 
the fear of God before my eyes and less fear of 
man than ever before. I preached on the text, 
" O I^ord, revive thy work !" God gave me unusual 
freedom. I made up my mind that, whatever 
might occur, I would be respectful in my deport- 
ment, loving in my disposition, and true to Christ. 
I said : 

" I am informed that Rev. Mr. H. is in the 
congregation. It will afford me great pleasure to 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

have him come forward and conclude the services 
in any manner he may deem best." 

He shook his head significantly. I saw that 
everybody in the congregation was interested, and 
was surprised at my boldness. I repeated the 
same invitation the second time. Again he shook 
his head. I paused a moment, then repeated with 
great earnestness : " It would afford me great 
pleasure, indeed, if the Rev. Mr. H., who is 
present, would come forward and conclude the 

I paused and waited. The color came to his 
face. He arose with much embarrassment, came 
forward, and I greeted him, expressing my pleas- 
ure in having him present. I asked him to exhort. 
He did so, and before I was aware I responded 
"Amen" to his remarks, with a loud voice, which 
startled him, and the congregation laughed. He 
then said, " L,et us pray." It was said that he 
made the most remarkable prayer that he was 
ever known to make. I responded frequently 
"Amen " to his petitions ; for the Spirit of the 
Lord was in my soul, and I had no more fear of 
this man than I would have had of a child. His 
prayer did me good. I shook him heartily by the 
hand and said, " God bless you," and thanked 
him for coming. We parted, and I never saw him 

On Saturday night I had a full house, which 
was regarded as a miracle. It went out that the 
little preacher, as I was called, had, by gentle 
methods, obtained a victory over the distinguished 

Eaton Circuit. 


Mr. H. How much truth there was in this, I do 
not know ; but they came out to see the young 
preacher. The next morning we had love-feast. 
Persons from surrounding societies were there, 
and we had " the shout of a king in the camp." 
A number were frightened at this, and ran out of 
the house. At eleven o'clock the house would not 
contain the people, and at night scores went away 
for want of room. God enabled me to make an 
appeal to the unconverted as well as to the back- 
slidden. At the close of the discourse I invited 
seekers to come forward to the altar, and forty at 
least came and bowed before the Lord. Not a 
member of the Church approached ; not a voice 
was raised to point them to the Savior. In this 
great work I was alone. I had a right to expect 
better things, but endeavored to bear the trials for 
Christ's sake. 

The next day we had meeting and the interest 
was continued; but nobody sympathized appar- 
ently with the penitents. At night there must have 
been fifty forward for prayer, but I was alone. 
Tuesday and Tuesday night witnessed the like 
scene, and yet I was alone. Not a soul had been 
converted, and no special confession had fallen from 
any of the members of the Church. The class-leader 
seemed to be struck with some powerful conviction, 
but was silent. Wednesday morning came. I had 
been sick most of the time, and went from my bed 
to nearly every service expecting that I would 
break down by the effort. There was this morn- 
ing a larger congregation than ever. The crisis 

148 Bringing the Sheaves. 

had come. My mind was made up that I could 
not and would not withdraw. Fifty souls were 
seeking Christ, and no interest, apparently, on the 
part of the members of that Church to do any- 
thing at all. I finally arose and said : 

" When I came to this place, nothing but dis- 
couragement met me. Prophecies of only failure 
were made. I was told that nobody would be 
converted. Now more than fifty persons have been 
seeking Christ at the altar of prayer, and not one 
soul has been converted. I must now tell you in 
all faith and honesty that I believe it is simply 
because you have utterly refused to co-operate with 
me in this work. I am almost broken down in 
health, and my physicians have advised me to go 
home and rest. I can bear this strain no longer. 
'And now if you will deal kindly and truly with 
my Master, tell me ; and if not tell me, that I may 
turn to the right or to the left.' If you do not co- 
operate with me, I believe that the blood of 
these souls, should they be lost, will be found upon 
the skirts of some of you. If you are going to 
stand by me in this, let me know it by your saying 
so personally. If not, I will leave you this after- 
noon, and the responsibility will be upon you. I 
now give the invitation to those who are willing to 
pledge themselves to stand by me and help me as 
far as they can, to say so publicly." 

The first one who arose was the steward and 
class-leader. He was shaking from head to foot. 
Tears were streaming down his face. He said : 

" Lieutenant, I am a coward ! When you came 

Eaton Circuit. 


here I was well-nigh overboard, and the cry went 
up, 'A man overboard ! A man overboard !' 
You sent the lifeboat after me, and took me up, 
and brought me on deck, and rolled me over and 
over until I was brought back to life ; and now, 
here I am, ready for duty. I will scrub the decks 
or keep a light in the binnacle, or do anything you 
ask of me." 

A Quaker brother arose and said : " William, I 
will help thee." Then others followed until every 
member pledged himself or herself to stand by me. 
I invited the seekers forward, and twenty came, the 
entire number being converted to God. 

In the meantime the wicked were not idle. A 
man made a bet of ten dollars that he would go to 
the altar and profess religion, and arise and shout, 
and make the people believe that he was a genuine 
convert. In order to fortify his courage, he drank 
whisky until he was intoxicated, and in this condi- 
tion came forward. I knew he was drunk, and 
treated him kindly. In a few moments he arose, and 
said he was converted. I got a chair, set him down 
in it, and told him to remain there until the meet- 
ing closed. He soon sobered up, and begged to be 
let out ; but I would not gratify him. He was the 
most mortified man I ever saw. How long it 
humbled him I can not tell. 

One night, while I was exhorting as I believe 
I never exhorted before or since, the door was 
opened and two birds flew into the room and 
circled round and round, until finally they circled 
over my head for what seemed to be a long 

150 Bringing the Sheaves. 

time, until the congregation, who were some- 
what superstitious, believed that I was about 
to die. As I was then describing heaven, the 
effect was wonderful. Some said that the house 
was shaking, and crawled under it to ascer- 
tain, if possible, the cause. Where the members 
sat, there was but little shaking ; it was all back 
where the sinners sat. All there was about it, as I 
believe, may be thus explained: in their excitement 
they clung to the seats in front of them, and as 
they were shaking from head to foot, the seat 
shook also. I told the brethren so, but they never 
believed it. 

At the close of the services on Friday night, 
" fifty-two " persons professed conversion, and the 
same number had united with the Church. I held 
meeting for several days after this, but could 
obtain no more converts ; so the dream of the 
Presbyterian elder as to the number was literally 

On the first Sabbath morning after this meeting 
closed, the love-feast was held. A man sent for 
me to come to the door. He informed me that he 
lived in the bounds of another charge ; that he was 
a renter on the farm of a Methodist ; that he himself 
had been a member of the Methodist Church ; but 
that a difficulty had arisen between his landlord and 
himself, and in anger he drew an ax upon him ; that 
he was arraigned for this, tried by the Church, and 
expelled. He made the most humble confession, 
promised amendment, and begged admittance into 
the love-feast. I believe if Jesus had been keep- 

Eaton Circuit. 


ing the door He would have said, " Come in and 
I admitted him. He soon arose, made a public 
confession ; promised amendment, and asked to be 
admitted into the Church on probation. I told him 
that I would receive his application, and present it 
to the preacher in charge, which I did. 

In four weeks after the meeting closed, I revis- 
ited the place, and this man informed me that he 
had removed into a neighborhood near Jackson's 
school-house, where there had never been a church 
edifice ; that a little society had existed, but it had 
disbanded. He begged me to come and preach 
some Sabbath afternoon ; that a large congregation 
was sure to be out to hear me. I declined to go. 
Four weeks afterwards he came again with the 
same request, and I then promised to preach to 
them on my next round. So at the appointed time 
I went, and found a very large and splendid-looking 
congregation in the woods. They had made every 
necessary preparation for such a meeting. 

Just a week before this, a prominent young man 
and his cousin, a young lady, were crossing the 
Miami River on horseback when they got into deep 
water and were drowned. This made a deep impres- 
sion upon the minds of the community, most of 
whom were worldly and thought little on the subject 
of religion. A committee of the most prominent 
citizens waited upon me at the close of my sermon 
and begged of me to preach again at night. I did 
so, and a strange solemnity rested upon the con- 
gregation. At the close of the service the same 
committee requested me to hold meeting the next 

152 Bringing this Sheaves. 

morning at nine o'clock. I consented, and al- 
though it was a busy time of the year, a large con- 
gregation was present. This committee were not 
members of any Church, and it occurred to me 
while preaching in the morning that probably there 
were persons present who had once been members, 
and who might desire the organization of a society. 
I named the matter, and fourteen persons at once 
presented themselves. I then said : 

"If there should be others who desire to unite 
with the Church on probation, we invite them to 
come forward." 

Eighteen others came forward, making thirty- 
two in all. 

We had meeting again at night, on Tuesday and 
Tuesday night, and on Wednesday and Wednes- 
day night, and then we closed. A society of 
seventy-five members, the richest country society I 
had ever known, was organized, and regular 
preaching provided for them. A subscription was 
started and money raised, as I understand, to the 
amount of four thousand dollars. A new church 
was built and occupied as a place of worship for 
many years. It was called Simonson's Chapel, after 
a devoted local preacher who took great interest in 
the enterprise. Of course, this gave me great joy. 
I never knew the number of converts; but most 
of them found peace. I afterward baptized adults 
and children to the number of seventy in one day. 

The only charge I ever had preferred against 
me during my ministrations was at the close of 
this year. It was presented to my presiding elder. 

Baton Circuit. 


The charge was that I had invaded the complain- 
ant's territory by forming a society within his 
bonndaries. He had been there two years, and had 
never thought of preaching to these neglected 
people. He did not press the matter, however, 
and I heard no more about it. 

The man who was instrumental in influencing 
me to preach in the neighborhood I never again 
saw nor heard of after the meeting. 

A quarterly- meeting was held at an appoint- 
ment called the Township House. This was a new 
appointment, and had a strange history. Two 
prominent men lived in the neighborhood who 
were sportsmen, and spent most of their time in 
horse-racing and kindred amusements. A few 
years previous to this one of them, Mr. D — n, had 
occasion to make a journey on horseback through 
Indiana and Illinois. At the close of the first day 
he called at the residence of Judge L,atta, father 
of Dr. Samuel A. L,atta, formerly of the Ohio 
Conference. When they were about to retire to 
bed that night, Judge Latta said to Mr. D — n : 

"It is my regular custom to have family wor- 
ship morning and evening. Should it be your 
pleasure to remain during the service, I shall be 
greatly pleased. Should you desire to retire to bed, 
I will not regard it as discourteous." 

"I will certainly remain," said Mr. D. 

The judge sang a hymn, read a chapter from 
the Bible, and then offered an earnest and appro- 
priate prayer. After the usual petitions offered at 
such times, he prayed fervently for the stranger 

154 Bringing the Sheaves. 

who was tarrying with them for the night, for 
his wife and family, whom he had left behind, 
and for Mr. D., that God would take care of him, 
and prosper him in his business ; and, above all, 
he prayed that if he was not a Christian, he might 
become one. 

Mr. D. then retired to his room, but not to sleep 
for a long time. He said to himself: 

"What does this mean? I never saw this man 
before. He must have some selfish object in pray- 
ing for me as he has done." 

It was late in the night before he slept. When 
he awoke in the morning he was most kindly 
greeted. The family was again called around the 
altar. The judge prayed more earnestly than he 
had done the night before for his strange guest, 
and implored for him Divine direction and care, 
until he should be restored to his home; that, if 
they met no more upon earth, they should meet in 
a better land. 

Immediately after breakfast his horse was 
brought to the door. He offered money to settle 
the bill, asking what the charge was. 

u The charge is," replied the judge, "that, as 
you return on your way home, you will call again 
and spend another night with us. I shall not re- 
ceive one cent of your money. God bless you and 
be with you, is my prayer! 

This amazed Mr. D. It was unlike anything 
he had ever met before. Indeed, he knew very 
little about Christian people, and meeting selfish- 
ness, as he did, on all sides, every day of his life, 

Eaton Circuit. 


lie was unprepared for such unselfishness as the 
judge displayed. All that day the judge and his 
prayer and his loving spirit were before him. He 
discussed it again and again ; thought it over that 
night and the next night, and the next, and during 
the entire journey. The impression grew deeper 
and deeper each day that the judge possessed 
something which he did not — something which he 
would have if it were possible. He returned home 
a changed man. He was yearning after a better life. 

He mounted his horse after he had rested a little 
while, and rode to Eaton, some eight or ten miles, 
to see if he could not find a preacher who would 
come and preach the gospel in his neighborhood, 
and show him the path of life. Joseph McDowell 
and Asbury Lowrey agreed to preach at the Town- 
ship House. They held a two or three days' 
meeting. Mr. D. was happily converted, and his 
wife also found Christ. A number of others in the 
neighborhood embraced the Savior, and a small 
society was formed. Mr. D. was in a short time 
appointed leader of the class and steward of the 
circuit. He was a man of noble and generous 
spirit; and while the habits of his former life 
were apparent wherever you found him, none 
doubted the genuineness of his conversion or his 
loyalty to Christ. 

At the quarterly-meeting, William H. Raper, 
presiding elder, was present. Mr. H. N., the former 
associate of Mr. D., was a sportsman of great noto- 
riety and of wide influence. His wife had united 
with the little society, but he stood aloof. While 

156 Bringing the Sheaves. 

he was disposed to treat his wife with courtesy, at 
the same time he treated the subject of religion 
and religious people and ministers with anything 
but that respect which was due. He spoke dis- 
paragingly of ministers and of their mannerism. 
That they would visit his house, and become the 
priest of his family; ask a blessing at his table 
without being invited; pray in his family, and the 
like, was with him a standing complaint. I had 
heard all this, and I told Mr. Raper. We were 
invited to dine at his house during the meeting. 
When we came to the table he looked at Mr. Raper 
and myself, and apparently waited for a move on 
our part. A number of others were seated at the 
table. His wife was much embarrassed, and he no 
less so. We all were embarrassed, and sat silent 
for at least one minute. Mr. H.'s face at last be- 
came almost crimson, and, with great reluctance, 
evidently, he said: 

"Mr. Raper, will you ask a blessing?" 

Mr. Raper politely said, "With your permis- 
sion," and said grace. Mr. H. was evidently de- 
feated, and keenly felt the rebuke which was given 
him. Before the close of the meal he made out 
to say: 

"I am glad, Mr. Raper, that you and your 
young friend, Mr. Fee, are here. I have a tenant 
on my farm — a poor drunken wretch. I can do 
nothing to effect his reformation, and, as I under- 
stand that Methodist ministers have wonderful 
success in treating hard cases, I hope you will take 
this man in hands, and make something of him. ,, 

Eaton Circuit. 


From the tone of his voice and his general 
manner, there was a large amount of contempt of 
religion displayed. Mr. Raper looked indignant, 
bnt said not a word. I loved him as a father. I 
could endure the insult myself, but to have him 
insulted was more than I could endure. I said: 

"Mr. H., a few weeks ago, for the first time, I 
visited the museum in Cincinnati. I had often 
heard of the works of that distinguished sculptor, 
Mr. Powers; especially the 'Infernal Regions,' as 
they were called, and which was now the greatest 
attraction in the museum. I gazed at this work of 
art with speechless wonder. Just before I left, a 
tall man from Indiana, more than six feet high, 
came to look upon the scene. His pantaloons 
were in the top of his boots ; his hair was unkempt ; 
and, in a word, he was a remarkable backwoods 
specimen. He had with him a large dog, which 
he called Bull. Two or three young men deter- 
mined to have some fun with the Indianian. An 
electrical machine was in operation, and, after a 
number had taken a light shock, they proposed 
that he should try it, so as to be able to report his 
experience to his friends on his return home. At 
first he declined their invitation ; but they perse- 
vered until at last their importunities overcame 
his timidity, and he said they might try it on 
'Bull,' and if it was all right, he might be induced 
to take a shock himself. They at once agreed to 
this, and, taking hold of the dog, they brought 
him forward, and turned on the electrical current. 
There was a fearful yelp, and his master, the In- 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

dianian, was well-nigh frightened ont of his 

" Where is the moral of that?" asked Mr. H. 

Said I: " Mr. H., while yon are presenting your 
tenant for treatment, would it not be well for you 
to take a shock also?" 

He saw the point. They all saw it, and 
Brother Raper clapped his hands, and the whole 
matter was received with great applause. Mr. H. 
confessed that he deserved the rebuke, and he was 
never known to repeat his discourtesy or abuse, 
which he had used toward the ministry. I fer- 
vently hope that Mr. H. received the grace which 
he felt was so much needed by his tenant. 

My labors during the fall and winter were ex- 
cessive. I had fearful premonitions of failing 
health, but I attended to my work, and went when 
I was scarcely able to sit upon my horse or to 
stand in the pulpit. 

One Sabbath morning, while I was the guest 
of John C. Deem, I nerved myself to go to an ap- 
pointment many miles away. Brother Deem 
helped me to mount my horse ; but before I started 
I became so ill that I had to be lifted down from 
the saddle and carried to my bed. Brother Deem 
mounted my horse, and filled the appointment him- 
self. Before he left, he directed that they should 
bring his brother-in-law, one of the most noted 
physicians in the county. He came as soon as 
possible, and, after examining me carefully, pro- 
nounced my case serious. I suffered intense pain ; 
and for days and nights I lay in agony. Through 

Eaton Circuit. 


the skill of my physician and the carefnl nnrsing 
of Brother Deem and his devoted wife, the disease 
was arrested, and in about eight days I was able to 
ride to Baton, some eight miles distant, and, as 
directed, called at once at the house of Doctor 
Crume. I walked into the room, and the doctor 
and his wife met me most cordially. Before I had 
been there two minutes I took a relapse, and was 
carried, almost fainting, to my bed, where I re- 
mained for another week, with many fears on the 
part of my friends that I would not recover ; but 
again, by the best of care, the disease was arrested 
and I had good prospects of returning health. 
The doctor decided that I should leave the circuit 
as soon as I was able, and go to my father's in 
Felicity, and rest for a time. The people generally 
feared that I would never return, and begged my 
physician to allow me to preach once before I left. 
He agreed to this on condition that I would preach 
only ten minutes. 

Pale and feeble as I was, I stood before that 
audience, and spoke as I believed a dying man 
would speak ; when strength came to me and I 
preached for thirty-five minutes with a zeal that 
was of the Lord ; and I suffered no harm from it. 
The next day I bade farewell to my friends, very 
doubtful as to my return. I felt that I must make 
the trip to save my life. My money was well-nigh 
exhausted, and I had not enough to take me to my 
home. I said not a word about this to any one, as 
I would not allow myself, if I could possibly avoid 
it, to borrow money from my friends. I had to 

160 Bringing the Sheaves. 

travel some fifty miles by stage-coach to reach 
Cincinnati. I went to the stage office to pay my 
fare, and was told it was paid to Cincinnati, and 
that I conld take dinner in Hamilton. I learned, 
furthermore, that my bill was paid in Hamilton. 
It was arranged that I should stop at the Dennison 
House in Cincinnati, and remain three days before 
going further. I remained there the allotted time, 
called for my bill, but found that it was paid. I 
next went on to the steamer which was to carry 
me near my home up the river. My bill was paid 
there also, and all the way to my father's house. 
The entire journey never cost me one cent, and I 
never could find out the generous friend or friends 
who did me this kindness. 

When I arrived at my father's, a revival meet- 
ing was in progress in my native town ; and in spite 
of myself, I was soon engaged in it. My health 
improved from the hour I left Eaton. 

In two weeks I returned to my work. A new 
church had been built some four miles south of 
Baton on the Cincinnati pike. The church was 
called "Antioch." During my absence my colleague 
appointed a meeting there. It had been in progress 
four days when I reached the circuit. In antici- 
pation of my coming, an appointment was made 
for me at Antioch on the evening of my arrival. 
The brethren met me at the coach, and I was 
most cordially received. 

They sang a few verses, and I kneeled in 
prayer, preparatory to preaching. There had been 
no special signs of a revival thus far, and I 

Eaton Circuit. 


supposed it would require a long time before 
any good would be done. I had not prayed one 
minute until there came, suddenly and unexpect- 
edly upon the congregation, a remarkable religious 
interest. Sinners began to weep and cry aloud for 
mercy, Christians were rejoicing, and my voice 
was drowned. There was no preaching that night, 
no exhortation, or singing. About forty were 
pleading for mercy, in various parts of the congre- 
gation. Soon ten were converted, and a large 
number united with the Church. The meet- 
ing continued for a week. 

A very respectable and prominent man kept a 
hotel in the neighborhood. This man's wife was 
happily converted, and he himself was brought 
under deep conviction. He came to the altar and 
prayed for mercy until late in the night. He was 
licensed to sell liquor ; and, believing that his 
business was in the way of his salvation, I told 
him so. He said he could become converted and 
continue the business. Said I : 

" If the Lord will let you into his kingdom 
I have no right to object. But I believe he 
will not." 

The next night he was forward again for prayer, 
and was one of the most miserable men I ever saw. 
He cried out bitterly until near eleven o'clock at 

"What shall I do ? O! what shall I do to 
be saved?" 

I answered : " Give up the liquor business. 
Take out your bar, and trust in God for results." 



Bringing the Sheaves. 

Before midnight lie surrendered, and God at 
once converted him. He took me by the arm 
and said : " You must go home with me and stay all 

I went. A number of persons who had ar- 
rived late at night, were awaiting his return. 
Before retiring, he went to the bar and told the 
clerk to close it forever, and never sell another 
drop of liquor. Then he brought down a new 
Bible, walked into the parlor where his guests were 
seated, and said: 

" My friends, I was converted to-night. I have 
ceased to sell liquor, and I am resolved to lead a 
new life. The young minister is here, and I want 
him to dedicate my house to God. We are going 
to have prayers. I shall be happy to have you 
remain if you will ; but if you would rather not 
do so, you can retire." 

They all remained. There were Quakers, and 
Presbyterians, and Methodists, and others, who 
were not known as the followers of the Lord 
Jesus, kneeling together. There were many tears 
and many "Aniens." When we arose, they all 
gathered about their host, and offered him hearty 
congratulations upon the change which had taken 
place. John Campbell — for this was his name — 
from that hour became a consistent Christian, and 
made more money in the next six months than 
he had ever made in all his life before. After I 
left the circuit I received a letter from his brother, 
saying : " My dear brother John is no more. He 
died in the arms of Jesus, and passed to his rest in 

Eaton Circuit. 


heaven." More than fifty souls were converted at 
this meeting ; and that Church stood for forty 
years, exerting a great influence upon that whole 
region of country. 


There had been a blessed revival of religion at 
Camden, previous to my coming. Judge Hall, of 
that place, was a noble Christian, and did much to 
preserve the fruits of the labors of the ministers 
who preceded us. Among those who had made 
application for admission into the Church the year 
before, was a young man about whose sincerity 
and integrity there were many doubts. He stood 
out his probation ; but for a time the majority of 
the Official Board refused to recommend him as a 
suitable person to be received into the Church. 
He was very anxious about it, and Judge Hall, in 
the spirit of Christ* labored with all his power for 
a recommendation for this young man, and suc- 
ceeded. He was accordingly received into full 
membership. Only a few days afterwards, on 
Sunday night, a store was robbed and a consider- 
able amount of valuables were missing. This 
young man was missing also. Believing that he 
would go to Cincinnati, they pursued, and found 
him with the stolen goods in his possession. He 
was arraigned, tried, and convicted. Those who 
had opposed his coming into the Church, now 
reproached Judge Hall most bitterly, saying : 

" If it had not been for you, this awful disgrace 
would not have befallen the Church." 

Bringing the Sheaves. 

The judge meekly replied : " If we had rejected 
him as you proposed, and he had stolen these 
goods, he would have said : ' I was driven to 
despair, and in my desperation I committed the 
deed.' That would have disgraced the Church ; 
but as it is, she stands without a stain upon her 

At our third quarterly-meeting, a committee vis- 
ited us, representing, as they claimed, a number of 
persons who were anxious to have me preach at 
Fair Haven. That whole country was occupied 
by Seceders, as they were called, many of whom 
were said to be very ultra in their Calvinistic 
views. On this account, these gentlemen claimed 
that they had ceased altogether to attend religious 
service. There was no other organization in the 
place and never had been ; and they were very 
anxious for preaching. There had never been 
any Methodist preaching in the village, and I was 
appointed by the Quarterly Conference to intro- 
duce Methodism there. 

I visited the place at the time appointed, and 
met with a most cordial reception ; but was sur- 
prised to learn that most of those who were active 
in getting me there, were Universalists. This was 
not by any means pleasant news ; but I determined 
to preach Christ to them just as I would preach to 
anybody else. They had a claim upon me, and I 
felt that I would sin against God if I did not 
preach to them the unsearchable riches of Christ. 
Never did I attract so much attention as I did 
upon my entrance into that place. I began my 

Eaton Circuit. 

meeting on Saturday, and had a most respectable 
hearing, as I had on Saturday night and on Sab- 
bath morning and Sabbath night. A number were 
deeply impressed, and sought the Savior and found 
him. A society of thirty-five members, as I now 
recollect, was organized. 

Much prejudice was removed, and a number of 
the Seceders were very anxious that I should 
preach in their Church. This was opposed by 
others, and a very serious division among them was 
threatened. A committee waited on me and stated 
the case, and said that they were happy to inform 
me that I was invited by a majority of the Board of 
Trustees, to hold service in their church, providing 
I would sing David's Psalms. I replied : 

" Gentlemen, this is certainly unexpected to 
me, and I am grateful to you for your interest in the 
matter. I am perfectly willing to sing the Psalms 
of David ; but it was not my intention to pro- 
duce division among you in coming here, and I 
would be the last man to do anything that would 
have the least influence in destroying the peaceful 
harmony of your Church." 

This was received with great favor by both 
parties, and gave me an influence which I could 
not have obtained otherwise. I have always en- 
tertained the highest regard for that denomination. 

Fifty years have passed since then, and Fair 
Haven has become a prosperous circuit. It is my 
desire to visit it again before I die. 

166 Bringing the Shkaves. 


For years a local preacher and a class-leader 
disagreed about some trivial matter. For years 
they did not fellowship each other. Their friends 
became involved in their quarrel, and the entire 
charge suffered in consequence. Several efforts 
had been made to settle the difficulty, but in vain. 
Many appeals were made to me, as a mutual friend, 
to arbitrate the matter between them. The parties 
themselves were very anxious to have me do so. I 
consented at last, and with much diffidence began 
my work. I met them on the camp-meeting 
ground, where they and others had met to make 
preparations for the annual camp-meeting. I said 
to the parties : 

" Let us go to the woods. " 

When we reached a secluded place, I asked 
them to kneel with me in prayer, and I prayed 
earnestly that this difficulty might be settled and 
they again become friends. I told them of the 
injury which was being done by this unfortunate 
affair, and the fearful responsibility which was upon 
them. I said to the local preacher : 

" Brother W., will you state this case just as 
you understand it, as fairly as possible ?" 

He did so in a very candid manner. Addressing 
his opponent, I said : 

" Brother P., will you state your case fairly, just 
as you understand it, with your matters of griev- 
ance, whatever they may be?" 

He, with equal fairness, presented his case. I 

Eaton Circuit. 


had requested them not to interrupt each other 
during these statements. 

" Now," said I, pleasantly, " I ask each of 
you one question. Brother W., do you believe 
Brother P. to be an honest, truthful man? And 
that he would not willfully tell a falsehood ?" 

He said, " I do." 
" Brother P., do you believe that Brother W. is 
an honest man ? And that he would not tell, will- 
fully, a known falsehood?" 

Said he, " I believe he would not." 

Then said I : " Brother W., you have stated 
your grievances ; Brother P. has stated his. You 
have agreed to regard each other as honest and 
truthful men. If this be true, is there anything 
between you which ought to keep you apart, and 
which will justify you in involving almost an en- 
tire charge in a personal difficulty ?" 

They both said with some hesitancy, "There 
is not." 

"Are you mutually willing, before God, to settle 
this difficulty here and now, to the best of your 

Each of them replied, " We are." 

I said, " Let us pray." 

We kneeled down where we were, on the leaves 
which covered the earth. I prayed, and then 
asked Brother W. to pray. After clearing his 
throat a good while, he began. His prayer was 
not very fervent. Then I called on Brother P., 
and he had but little spirit of prayer. I then 
prayed again and called on each of them to pray 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

again. They did so and were melted into tears. 
We arose. 

" Now," said I, "brethren, suppose you shake 
hands with each, other and bury this difficulty for- 

Brother W. extended his hand to Brother P., 
who received it, and each of them looked away 
from the other. Said I : 

" That will never do ! Look each other in the 
face, and, with a ' God bless you !' give each other 
a hearty shake." 

They did so, and in a little while, their arms 
were around each other, and they were wonderfully 
blessed. When we returned to the camp-ground, 
there was rejoicing among the officials 'of the 
meeting. This reconciliation was made a great 
blessing to many people. I heard no more of the 


The sheriff sent for me one day, to come to 
his office. He said : 

" There are two young men in jail, from 
Brown County, Ohio, who claim to be the sons of 
respectable, pious parents. They heard your name 
mentioned and said they knew you. Will you visit 

I said, " Yes." 

In a moment I recognized them as the sons of 
pious parents. They knew me, and were rejoiced 
to see me. Counterfeit money was found upon 
their persons, which, they told me, they had 
received from some parties near Cincinnati ; that 

Eaton Circuit. 

they were not experts, and did not know counterfeit 
money from genuine. I believed this. 

A brother of one of them was a young man of 
great promise, and I had taken a deep interest in 
him. He was not a Christian, but was favorably 
disposed to religion. They begged me to write to 
this brother, which I did. I then visited a lawyer 
and requested him, as a personal favor, to see that 
justice was done them. In a few days the brother 
arrived. His heart was almost broken. Said he: 

"I was making a reputation, and nattered my- 
self that I would be somebody in the world. Now 
my hopes are blasted " 

I answered: "No, that is not true. You stand 
or fall upon your own merits." 

I did all I could for him ; introduced him 
among my friends, who greatly sympathized with 
him. I pitied the boys. They had a preliminary 
trial, and as the mayor was satisfied of their inno- 
cence, they were discharged. The young man 
was overwhelmed with joy, and offered me money, 
which I refused. He was deeply moved because 
I would not receive it. Afterwards a sum of 
money was sent me from some quarter; but he 
would not admit that he sent it, and I never 
knew who did. For many years afterwards he re- 
mained my faithful and devoted friend, and the 
boys became honored citizens of the county. 

At one of my meetings, a young man, seven- 
teen years of age, was deeply convicted of sin. 
We endeavored to bring him to Christ, but he was 
stubborn and unyielding. Some time afterwards 

170 Bringing the Shkaves. 

I learned that he was sick, and visited him. It 
was his last sickness. When I entered the room 
he exclaimed : 

"O Doctor, I am lost; lost forever! There is 
no mercy for me ! Give me morphine, and put me 
out of my misery! I can not die with the awful 
conviction that I am lost! Let me go unconscious 
into the future world!" 

Many had prayed for him. I labored and 
prayed for two hours that day, but in vain. I 
could do no more. In silence I sat and wept. His 
pious mother was a picture of despair. She sat in 
perfect silence until I abandoned the effort; then, 
with clasped hands, she kneeled at his bedside, 
and, looking upward with a sad and imploring ex- 
pression upon her face, such as I never had beheld 
before, she prayed that God would save her son. 
The son confessed his rebellion against God, and 
with deep contrition for sin, he labored to present 
himself to God; but did this without hope of 
mercy, believing that he was lost. His mother 
pleaded for him most eloquently until his agony 
ceased, and with a smile upon his face, he said: 

"O mother, your boy is saved!" 

For fifteen hours afterwards he rejoiced with 
exceeding joy, and then closed his eyes on earth to 
open them in heaven — a monument of his mothers 
love and prayer. 

There was an appointment on the circuit called 
Pleasant Hill, of about fifteen or twenty members. 
It had week-day preaching, but was in no sense 
aggressive. I preached earnestly, and labored to 

Eaton Circuit. 


produce a better state of things ; but without the 
least evidence of success. I held no revival-meet- 
ing there. I came to my last appointment at this 
place more discouraged than ever before. So far 
I had no evidence whatever that I had been a 
blessing in any sense to a member of that little 
Church, or to any person in that community. I 
was so embarrassed that I forgot the points of my 
sermon, and could not even remember the text 
which I had selected. Hoping that it would 
come to me, I had the congregation sing several 
hymns ; but in vain. In utter desperation I re- 
solved to open the Bible, and to speak upon the first 
words upon which my eyes rested, "Show me a 
token for good," was the first sentence I saw. In 
a moment a train of thought was suggested to me, 
and I spoke for half an hour with more freedom 
than usual; but saw no evidence that any good 
was done. I hastily closed the services, with more 
mortification that I had ever experienced. Mount- 
ing my horse, I rode away without my dinner, 
rather than encounter the people among whom I 
had labored without any success. I recorded in 
my Journal, "Pleasant Hill a perfect failure. 1 ' I 
had none but bitter memories when I thought of it. 

Ten years passed away. I was stationed at 
Ninth Street, Cincinnati. One day, as I stood 
upon the steps, gazing upon the street, I saw a 
noble -looking man coming toward me. He hur- 
riedly ascended the steps, and came to where I 
was. Grasping my hand, he said: 

"Are you not the pastor of this Church ?" 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

I said, "Yes." 
"Is your name Fee?" 
I answered in the affirmative. 
" You traveled Baton Circuit and preached at 
Pleasant Hill, did you not? 1 ' 
I replied that I did. 

"Do you remember the last time you preached 
there, and the text?" 

"Were you not greatly discouraged that day?" 
"I was never more so." 

"There were only fifteen persons in the con- 
gregation that day," said he. "All were Christians 
but myself. I have been anxious to see you ever 
since. Your sermon reached my heart. In three 
weeks I was converted, and united with the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church. In six months I was ap- 
pointed a class-leader. Soon after I was licensed 
to exhort, and at the close of the year licensed to 
preach. I was recommended to the Indiana An- 
nual Conference for reception on trial, and was re- 
ceived, and have been a traveling preacher ever 
since. I have been greatly blessed during my 
ministration of eight years. Three hundred souls 
were converted last year under my ministration, 
and in all, more than one thousand, since I be- 
gan. I wanted to see you once more, and to tell 
you, discouraged as you had been, and little as you 
might think of it, through an unworthy son of the 
gospel you were preaching the gospel of Christ 
successfully in the State of Indiana." 

I have learned that this minister rests from his 

Eaton Circuit. 


labors, and u his works do follow him." He has a 
son standing npon the walls of Zion, preaching 
the gospel which his father had so faithfully pro- 
claimed. They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. 

During the latter part of the year I was com- 
pelled to walk a great deal, but I did it cheerfully. 
One day I walked to the residence of Esquire Kel- 
ley, who had a delightful family. While I rested 
there, I became much interested in George W. 
Kelley, his son. He was a member of the Church, 
but in a lukewarm state. One morning we went to 
Twin Creek, in the vicinity, to fish. We sat upon 
a large rock. I looked at him, and felt strangely 
impressed to speak to him. Said I : 

" I am afraid that you are not succeeding very 
well in religion." 

"What makes you think so?" he asked. 

"I feel so impressed," said I. 

He replied: "I am not. The cause of this no 
human being knows, and never will know." 

Said I: u God has called you to preach, and 
you are fighting against it; and that is the cause 
of your present religious condition." 

"How do you know?" he asked. 

"I have had bitter experience on that subject, 
and know what it means; and I pity every one 
who is suffering as I once suffered." 

After a little while he said, " It is true." 

I then besought him not to be disobedient to 
the heavenly calling, but to leave his case with 
God and the Church ; improve his mind and heart, 
at all events, and prepare himself for usefulness. 


Bringing thk Sheaves. 

This he, with much reluctance, consented to do, 
and the L,ord greatly blessed him. 

So intensely interested on the subject were we 
that our fishing-poles had fallen into the stream 
and floated way; but George W. Kelley, on that 
rock on which we sat and talked and prayed, gave 
himself to God and his Church as he had never 
done before. He became a very successful travel- 
ing preacher, filled some of our best stations, and 
was instrumental in leading many souls to Christ. 
A little more than four years since I saw him for 
the last time. He said : 

"Do you remember anything about our fishing 
in Twin Creek?" 

I replied, "Yes," 

"Did we catch any fish that day?" 

I answered, " No, unless you are one." 

He said, "I am indebted to that interview 
which we had while sitting on the rock by the 
creek, for the many years I have spent in the 
Christian ministry;" and with a warm grasp of the 
hand, he bade me good-bye. The next news I 
heard was, that Brother Kelley had passed to his 
rest in heaven. He died in Cumminsville, Cincin- 
nati, May 5, 1892, and his death was greatly re- 
gretted by the thousands who knew him. 

My work on Baton Circuit closed with that 
camp-meeting. I was treated by the people uni- 
versally with the greatest affection. My return 
to the charge was earnestly requested. A mes- 
senger was sent to the Conference to confer with 
Bishop Hamline, and, if possible, secure my ap- 

Eaton Circuit. 


pointment. J. S. Hawkins, Esq., speaker of the 
House of Representative, Ohio, gave me a home at 
his house. He, with his wife, treated me with 
almost parental affection. Mrs. Hawkins, during 
the time, united with the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, and became a devoted Christian. In a 
short time after her conversion she died, beloved 
by all who knew her. Her disconsolate husband 
clung to me afterwards in his bereavement with 
greatest affection. Their kindness I shall never 
forget. Nor can I forget such men as Judge Jacob 
Chambers, who yet lives, a most intelligent observer 
of the times, a man of broad views, a Christian 
with unswerving convictions, and an unrelenting 
opponent of the evils of the day. Nor can I for- 
get Jonas Allbright, nor William, his son, who for 
so many years has been the able editor of the 
Eaion Register, and a most exemplary member of 
the Church. I might speak of Josiah Campbell 
and his wife; of Judge Campbell; of Dr. Crume, 
my physician, and his noble wife ; of Mr. and Mrs. 
Wilson; of Mr. and Mrs. Van Doren, and a host of 
others, whose names are embalmed in my affection. 

It was a great trial for me to think of leaving 
such a people, and going to another part of the 
State. About three hundred and fifty, at least, 
had been converted to God, and as many had united 
with the Church. My relations with other denom- 
inations also were pleasant. 

I returned to Eaton again, after an absence of 
nearly fifty years. In their beautiful cemetery I 
saw the graves of loved and cherished friends. 

1 7 6 

Bringing the Sheaves. 

But few were left to greet me as they had done 
fifty years before. 

The Ohio Conference met in Cincinnati, Sep- 
tember 3, 1845. I attended it, with no idea as to my 
future field of labor. I had made a record quite 
satisfactory to the charge and to my presiding 
elder. But I found much to write against myself. 
The Conference promised to be one of great 
excitement. The Methodist Episcopal Church was 
now practically divided, as was claimed. Most 
of the Churches on slave territory, under what 
was called the "Plan of Separation," declared their 
intention to secede. They held a public meeting 
in Louisville, Kentucky. Bishop Soule, the senior 
bishop of the Church, attended that meeting, and 
announced his intention to affiliate with the South- 
ern Conferences. It was noised abroad that he 
was to be present at the Conference, and if invited 
to do so, would feel at liberty to preside over its 
deliberations, and exercise his episcopal authority 
as heretofore. It was well understood that if this 
was attempted, the Conference would take decided 
action against it. 

Conference convened in Ninth Street Church. 
I was present at the first session. The members 
of the Conference were generally present, also a 
large number of strangers, among whom were 
many distinguished ministers of the Southern 
States. They doubtless came in the interest of 
the seceders, and, if possible, to protect them 
against any unfavorable criticisms which might be 
made upon their recent convention at Louisville. 

Eaton Circuit. 


The Conference opened in the usual way, 
Bishop Hamline presiding. During the first day's 
proceedings, Bishop Soule came into the church 
where the Conference was holding its session; was 
duly recognized, and introduced to the Conference. 
He was seated by the side of Bishop Hamline, and 
treated with the greatest courtesy. The next morn- 
ing the crisis came. Bishop Hamline, evidently 
wishing to test the right of Bishop Soule to pre- 
side, invited him to occupy the chair. Bishop 
Soule took the chair, and called for the reading of 
the Minutes. The brethren present were ready, 
and when the journal was approved, several prom- 
inent ministers sprang to their feet. Jacob Young 
and Uriah Heath promptly introduced a paper 
stating that, as the Southern preachers have virtu- 
ally seceded from the Methodist Episcopal Church 
of the United States of America, in order to form 
a separate ecclesiastical organization, — therefore, 

" Resolved, That though the Conferences com- 
posing the Methodist Episcopal Church will treat 
the bishops of the Church South with due courtesy 
and respect, yet it would be, in the estimation of 
this Conference, inexpedient and highly improper 
for them to preside, in said Conferences." 

It was a time of intense excitement. I never 
saw the like before or since. In order to relieve 
Bishop Hamline of the embarrassment of putting 
the question, the venerable David Young was called 
to the chair to put the motion; but, owing to the 
great excitement which prevailed, he was found 
unequal to the task, and Jacob Young was asked 

i 7 8 

Bringing the Sheaves. 

to preside. He, too, was unable to do it. Next, 
if I remember, James Quinn was asked to pre- 
side, and he declined. Then, Bishop Hamline, 
resuming the chair, in a very calm, deliberate 
manner, said : 

"As the responsibility rests upon me, as the 
regular president of the Conference, I will put the 

Without further debate the vote was taken. It 
was a rising vote. Only seven of those two hun- 
dred members voted to retain Bishop Soule in the 
chair. I voted with the majority, as I could not 
do otherwise. Two of Bishop Soule's sons had 
been my college friends, Joseph and William. I 
regarded the bishop as one of the greatest minis- 
ters in the Methodist Church, and loved him for 
his personal virtues and his kindness to me. He 
had ordained me deacon. It was the heaviest 
cross to vote against him I ever bore; but I did 
bear it, and I believe now that I performed my 

During the Conference, lasting nearly two 
weeks, Moses Smith and myself were the guests 
of Judge Mclvean, of the Supreme Court of the 
United States. At that time he was prominently 
named as a candidate for the Presidency. No 
Methodist of the United States was more honored 
or more beloved than was he. He was a devoted 
member of Wesley Chapel, Cincinnati. When at 
home he would uniformly be found at his class 
and prayer-meeting. In Washington City the 
same could be said of him. He was not ashamed 

Eaton Circuit. 


of his religion or his Church. Toward Brother 
Smith and myself he acted like a father. We loved 
that noble man, and rejoiced to be honored with 
his friendship. He said to us, before the vote was 
taken that day: 

" Remember, you must be sure to be at dinner 
to-day," telling us the hour. " I have invited a 
number of distinguished ministers, many of whom 
you know, and I am certain you will be pleased to 
meet them all." 

When Conference adjourned, we had nothing 
to do but to repair at once to the residence of the 
honored judge, and meet these distinguished men. 
I had never before met so many prominent divines. 
I remember many of them: Joseph S. Tomlinson, 
Henry B. Bascom, Burr H. McCown, H. H. Kava- 
naugh (afterwards Bishop,) Richard Tydings, Jona- 
than Stamper, Joseph A. Waterman, William H. 
Raper, Michael Marlay, Edmund W. Sehon, Joseph 
M.Trimble, George W. Maley, William Burke, John 
F. Wright, Charles Elliott, Dr. Samuel A. Eatta, 
Eeroy Swormstedt, Bishop Soule, Bishop Hamline, 
and others whose names I do not remember. 

They were pictures of sorrow. There was 
scarcely a smile upon the faces of those distin- 
guished ministers. For a time they sat in silence. 
No one was disposed to break the spell. To me it 
was a fearful trial to gaze into the faces of men 
whom I had honored and loved, and to feel the 
chilling influence of the spirit which estranged 
them; but I was trying to follow Christ and imi- 
tate his Spirit, and by keeping my eyes on him, 

180 Bringing the Sheaves. 

he sustained me, and I triumphed over the temp- 
tations which beset me with fearful power. At 
last Mr. Raper and Mr. Kavanaugh began to talk 
about the War of 1812, in which Mr. Raper was a 
distinguished officer. This broke the spell which 
rested upon the assembly, and some of the minis- 
ters engaged in formal conversation all around the 
room. The judge, who had been very much em- 
barrassed at first, was greatly relieved. He con- 
ducted us to the dining-room, where a grand en- 
tertainment greeted us. After dinner an hour was 
spent very pleasantly by those who were present, 
when they parted never to meet again as they had 
met in other years. The sad memories of that 
day, I fear, will never leave me in this world. 

As I had been educated in Kentucky, and knew 
nearly all these distinguished men, several of them 
approached and invited me most cordially to unite 
with the Southern Church. No one was so eager 
as was my former preceptor, Henry B. Bascom, 
afterwards bishop of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, South. I had the greatest admiration for 
him, but I hated human slavery. I told him so, 
and said: 

"Professor, much as I love you, and many 
others who are with you, I am a Northern man 
with Northern principles, and can never unite my 
destiny with this Church." 

He replied: "All right. If you ever want a 
friend just call on me, wherever you are, and you 
will find me to be true." 

I never saw him again. 

Eaton Circuit. 


I never spent two weeks more pleasantly than 
I did at Jndge McLean's home. Almost every 
day I was introduced to different persons from 
different parts of the United States, who were 
greatly distinguished in the various vocations of 
life. They were very anxious that the judge 
should give his consent to become a Presidential 
candidate. He met all their advances, as far as I 
observed, pleasantly; but he did not commit him- 
self in any way. He said to Brother Smith and 
myself, one evening: 

"As you know, I was appointed Postmaster- 
General of the United States, under the Adminis- 
tration of John Quincy Adams. During my term 
of service in that department it was determined by 
the friends of Mr. Adams to have him become a 
candidate for a second term. I was officially ap- 
proached and requested to use the patronage of my 
department in promoting his re-election. This I 
refused to do on the ground that it was demoraliz- 
ing and corrupting in its influence upon the Gen- 
eral Government and upon the people. This 
brought upon me a great deal of criticism from the 
friends of Mr. Adams. As you know, Mr. Adams 
was defeated, and General Andrew Jackson was 
elected to the Presidency. When his Cabinet was 
formed, I supposed that I would be removed ; I 
thought of nothing else, and was greatly sur- 
prised when my name was announced to the Sen- 
ate as Postmaster-General of the United States. 
As I did not seek nor shun the ofhce, I ac- 
quiesced in the appointment. It was not very 


Bringing thk Shelves. 

long until I learned that the friends of General 
Jackson were laboring for his election for a 
second term ; and, inasmuch as I had de- 
clined to use the patronage of the Post-office 
Department to secure the re-election of Mr. 
Adams, they supposed that I was unfriendly to 
his Administration. Prominent friends of General 
Jackson informed me that he would be a candi- 
date for a second term, and they desired me to 
use the patronage of the Post-office Department 
under my charge to secure his renomination 
and election to the Presidency. This I at once 
refused to do, because it was wrong in principle, 
and would be ruinous in its effect upon the Gov- 
ernment. General Jackson sent for me soon after, 
and desired to know if such was the fact. I 
frankly admitted that it was. He then desired to 
know all my reasons for the position I had taken. 
I told him frankly that with me it was a matter of 
principle ; that I refused to do so under the Adminis- 
tration of Mr. Adams, and I would not do it under 
any Administration ; that I had not asked him for 
a reappointment, and had no desire to hold the 
office to his disadvantage. I was ready to retire 
from it ; but I would not do that which I could not 
do conscientiously. The General was much ex- 
cited and angry, and I supposed that, of course, 
I would receive my dismissal from the Post-office 
Department ; but I did not. The first news I had 
of General Jackson, after this, was notice of my 
nomination as one of the justices of the Supreme 
Court ot the United States. 

Eaton Circuit 

" This," said the judge, " is a simple, truthful 
history of this transaction, about which so much 
has been said in political circles. Since that time 
I have never for one moment regretted my course. 
You will doubtless live to see the full demonstra- 
tion of the wisdom of my decision." 


On Sabbath morning, Judge McLean said to 
me : " I never miss a class-meeting if I can attend 
it, in the city of Washington or elsewhere. It is a 
necessity of my religious life ; and I am always 
blessed in this means of grace more especially 
than any other. Some years since, with an asso- 
ciate justice, in one of the towns of Northern Ohio, 
I was spending a Sabbath at one of the hotels. I 
asked the landlord if there was any religious meet- 
ing in the village that day. At first he said, 1 No,' 
and then said, 4 1 am mistaken ; there is a Dutch 
blacksmith who holds, every Sabbath, what he 
calls a class-meeting. He is a Methodist, a class- 
leader, and I think an honest, sincere man.' The 
meeting was held in a private room. I decided 
to attend, and proposed to my friend, the judge, 
to accompany me. He said : ' 1 am not a pro- 
fessor of religion, but I will.' When we entered 
the room we saw a few persons, perhaps a dozen 
or more. A plain man, with a hymn-book in his 
hand, was about to commence the service. We 
were ' the observed of all observers.' The leader 
waited and waited for some time. He was evi- 
dently embarrassed. At last he arose and said in 

184 Bringing the Sheaves. 

his broken German : ' I dink it is dime to com- 
mence class-meeding. Dose who are nod mem- 
bers of der Medodist Shurch will please redire.' 
My friend was abont to leave, but at my request 
he remained. The class-leader again said : 'All 
who are nod Medodist will now please redire.' 
Again the judge was about to leave, but I con- 
strained him to remain. The leader then opened 
the services with a hymn, and made a fervent 
prayer. God was with him, and my friend was deeply 
impressed. After he had given, in a simple, artless 
way, his own experience, he called on the others, 
who were present, to speak ; reserving my friend 
and myself to the last. He first approached the 
judge and said : ' I believe you are a shudge of 
der courd. Now, vat you dink about dis ding of 
religion ?' 4 1 think,' he replied, ' that it is a 
good thing. I believe in it. I am sorry that I am 
not as good a Christian as I believe you to be, 
and I want you to pray for me that I may 
become a good, earnest Christian.' To this he 
said : ' Amen. God bless you, Shudge !' His 
courage had risen wonderfully. He now ap- 
proached me and said: 'Well, Shudge, vat you 
dink aboud dis religion ?' I said : 4 My brother, it 
is the best thing in the world. I was converted 
many years ago at the mourners' bench in 
Lebanon, Ohio, and joined the Methodist Church. 
From then until now I have loved the Church, and 
especially the class-room. Your meeting has been 
a great blessing to me, and I shall never forget it. 
God bless you, my brother! May we meet in 

Eaton Circuit. 

heaven!' He fervently responded, 'Amen!' with 
the tears coursing down his cheeks. My friend, 
the judge, said he had never had so profound an 
impression made upon him by any religious serv- 
ice as that held by the German class-leader." 

I shall never forget Judge McLean and his ex- 
cellent wife. They have both gone to their 

After a protracted session, the Conference 
closed. The appointments were announced. I 
was appointed to Putnam Station, now a part of 
the city of Zanesville. I did not dream of such 
an appointment. James B. Finley, who knew me, 
said that my appointment was an absolute neces- 
sity. The charge was run down, and unless some 
very zealous, earnest work was done, it would 
cease to be a station. It was my first station. I 
was preacher in charge for the first time, and trem- 
bled at the thought. 

I made a brief visit to my parents, then 
returned to Eaton by way of Cincinnati. I left 
Eaton and traveled a day and a night in an old- 
fashioned coach. I reached Zanesville on Satur- 
day morning, weary and sick, to commence my 
labors in a new charge and among a strange 

James B. Finley was presiding elder. William 
Langarl was my predecessor. He preached the 
doctrine of the Second Advent. He was a good, 
pious man, but was swallowed up in the mazes of 
this subject. The effect of this upon the charge 
was very injurious. George C. Crum was sta- 

Bringing thk Sheaves. 

tioned at Second Street, and John Miley at Sev- 
enth Street, Zanesville, and beyond these I had no 
acquaintances in that place as far as I knew. I 
was so depressed in spirit on my first Sabbath that, 
while sitting in my room, I said: "O, if I could 
see a friend !" Just then some one came to the 
door ; I opened it and there stood a college friend, 
Samuel D. Clayton. He said : 

" O, Brother Fee, I pity you ! You have a hard 
field of labor !" 

"What!" said I. "You, a Methodist?" 

With his eyes full of tears he responded: " Yes, 
I am a Methodist exhorter." 

"Why," said I, " I was afraid when I saw you 
last that you would go to the bad !" 

" No," said he, " I am living in Zanesville, and 
am enjoying religion." 

I was greatly blessed by his coming. 

In the afternoon there was an experience-meet- 
ing, and many spoke in an edifying manner. At 
last a girl, whom I supposed to be about fifteen 
years of age, arose and said that she had been a 
Christian for six years, and spoke with such power 
that everybody in the congregation was moved. 
The very moment I beheld her, I was impressed 
that she was, some time, to be my wife. I after- 
wards heard her name again and again ; though I 
did not then know that she was eminently qualified 
to be a minister's wife. 

A short time afterwards I met the young lady 
on the street, and was introduced to her by the 
very name of the one who had been so cor- 



dially recommended as being so suitable for a 
minister's wife. For one year I never mentioned 
this to a human being. 

At once I began my work of visiting from 
house to house. I called the Official Board to- 
gether. A large number of delinquents were re- 
ported. The state of the charge was discouraging ; 
but I devoted all my energies to my work, pre- 
paring and preaching plain, pointed sermons to the 
hearts and consciences of the members of the 
Church. In a short time there was a general 
religious interest manifested in the prayer-meeting, 
class-meeting, and especially in the increased 
attendance upon the preaching of the Word. 

Attendance upon class-meeting was then a 
condition of membership. All the delinquents 
whom I visited, but seventeen, promised to attend 
the class-meeting. I was instructed to visit the 
seventeen delinquents and inform them that, un- 
less they would return to duty, charges of negli- 
gence would be brought against them, and they 
would be tried and possibly lose their member- 
ship. This was a very serious matter for me. 
Being a young minister, I knew nothing but 
obedience to the order and to the Discipline of 
the Church. 

I visited the delinquents one by one, talking 
to them and praying with them. To my surprise 
they promised to reform — all save one — and they 
were soon found in their appropriate places. One 
of them, a prominent and respectable lady, the 
wife of a local preacher and the daughter of a 

188 Bringing the Siikavks. 

preacher, did not agree to attend the class-meet- 
ing. This I deeply regretted, and begged to know 
the reason, if it were proper for her to give it. 

She then told me that she had a family of 
small children; the meeting was held at night, 
and there was no one with whom she could leave 
them ; that the Church required of her that which 
it was impossible for her to do. 

" If I had some one to take care of my chil- 
dren," said she, "I would go at once." 

I said: "I will find some one to take care of 
them while you are gone; so be ready to go to 
class on next Thursday night." 

Said she, "Who will it be?" 

I replied, " When the time comes you will 

I went myself. Said I, "I come to take care 
of your children." I was then a young man. 

She said, "That will never do !" 

Said I, " It must do !" and persisted until she 
agreed to attend the class-meeting. I felt that I 
was doing a good work, and so that excellent 
lady saved her membership in the Church. She 
is there to-day. 

I succeeded in my work of bringing back de- 
linquents to duty, beyond my expectations. There 
were evident signs of a better state of things ; but 
soon a serious trouble arose. For years there had 
been a serious disagreement concerning music in 
the Church. At the beginning of the year but 
few were singing, and an almost universal com- 
plaint was made on the subject. How to adjust 


the matter, I did not know. I made it a subject 
of prayer. I could not agree with either party. 
In this emergency I examined the Discipline of 
the Church, and found that the entire responsi- 
bility rested upon the pastor of the Church. I saw 
that the Discipline provided for just such a state of 
things as we had. It made provision for good 
singing. It was the duty of the preacher in charge 
to appoint one or two to lead the singing and to 
instruct the congregation in music. 

Without consultation with any one, I appointed 
two brethren to lead singing, both of whom under- 
stood the science of music and were well qualified 
for the position. They accepted the appointment, 
and on the next Sabbath morning they were sitting 
together, and several other singers with them, who 
were there on their own responsibility. The singing 
that morning was simply wonderful. A large part 
of the congregation joined, and sung most earnestly 
and impressively. The oldest member who was 
present left the congregation. At the close I made 
a kind of statement to the effect that I had done 
simply what the Discipline required me to do. I 
had no right, as I saw it then, to appoint a choir. 
Our seats were free, and I could not appropriate 
any part of the church for a certain number of the 
congregation. Those who sat together, did so by 
common consent. I said that my object was to 
promote the Word of God, and to ''glorify his 
name," and not to work to the pleasure of any 
member of the Church. 

I was a stranger, a young man, inexperienced, 

190 Bringing the Sheaves. 

and scarcely knew where to go for counsel. A 
very sad state of things was the result. I was mis- 
represented and abused as I had never been be- 
fore. I was called a proud college fop, and other 
epithets were used which I need not mention. In 
a word, I was publicly and privately abused by 
those who were opposed to good singing. They 
said they never subscribed to that part of the Dis- 
cipline, and never would. The leading spirit in 
the opposition said he would give one dollar a head 
for all the members who were received under my 
ministry while I was pastor. 

As near as I could learn, about forty persons 
proposed to secede from the Church. This was a 
great trial to me. Some of these had become mem- 
bers of the Church before I was born. I believed 
they were honest and sincere, and yet the respon- 
sibility was upon me, and I must meet it. I was 
exhorted by several preachers to prefer charges 
against those who had aspersed my good name; 
but this I refused to do. I made up my mind that 
I would endeavor to maintain a Christlike spirit; 
that I would not return "evil for evil;" that "I 
would pray for those who persecuted me, and de- 
spitefully used me;" and, wherever I had the op- 
portunity, I would endeavor to treat them with all 
possible courtesy and kindness. 

I prayed night and day for them, and labored 
with more zeal than I had done before for the pro- 
motion of God's work. Jesus in his work was un- 
selfish. He endured all things for me. The chief 
leader of this difficulty would rise up before me 



whenever I prayed, and seemed to stand between 
me and success. Reading my Bible one day, I 
chanced upon these words, " Pray for your enemies." 
It deeply impressed me, and I knew that I must 
either obtain the victory over this enemy, or I 
would be defeated, and perhaps ruined. I wrestled, 
like Jacob, until the victory came, and he was out 
of my way as much as if he had been dead. I 
loved him with a wonderful love. After that there 
was no obstacle in the way of my success. 

One day, a lady, who was my principal oppo- 
nent among the women, came to the house where 
I was boarding, and informed the family that she 
had come to reprove me sharply, and to give me 
the correction which my mother had evidently 
failed to give me. With a lady in her company 
she came to my room. I received her most kindly. 
She began by saying: 

" I am not afraid of preachers, and I am going 
to tell you what I think of you, and reprove you in 
a way that probably you have never been reproved, 
and you will have to endure it." 

She continued in this strain for some time. 
At the conclusion, I replied : 

"My sister, I should be very sorry if you were 
afraid of me. If you find more fault with me than 
I find with myself, you will have a large contract 
on hand. I know I need correction and reproof, 
and as you have come here to reprove me, I trust 
it will be made a blessing to me, and, for fear 
that I might receive it in the wrong spirit and be- 
come angry, we ought to have a season of prayer. 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

You are here as my instructress; we will kneel, 
and you will lead in an earnest prayer for me, that 
your labors may be attended with success." 
She said, u You pray." 

"No," I replied, "you must do the praying." 

She said: "I can't pray. I didn't come here 
to pray. I am not in the spirit of prayer." 

I replied, "If any praying is done, you must 
do it." 

She arose from her kneeling position. As she 
left, she said, "I never saw such a man," and that 
ended her effort for my reformation. She was soon 
one of my warmest friends. 

God began to bless my preaching in an unusual 
manner. The difficulty about the singing was 
dying away. The one who was the most active in 
the opposition was almost alone, and after a time 
became silent. Two years afterwards he asked my 
pardon; for the reason that persons had lied to 
him, and he had unfortunately believed them. I 
told him that I had pardoned him long ago ; that 
my difficulties were written in the sand ; that they 
had been washed out long since, and I loved him 
as a father in the kingdom of the Lord Jesus. To 
the day of his death we were the best of friends. 

So I found that, in the end, a man may believe 
the Lord. "He maketh even his enemies to be at 
peace with him." 

A great revival began, and in a few weeks more 
than one hundred were converted to God, and more 
than that number united with the Church. Our 
congregations were large, and the house was 



crowded. The Church had improved one hundred 
per cent in almost every particular. 

At this time I was exceedingly timid. I was 
afraid to preach outside of my own pulpit, although 
I was often invited. I had the humblest views of 
my pulpit ability. Our quarterly-meetings were 
occasions of great interest at that time. Our pre- 
siding elder, James B. Finley, determined to cure 
me of my diffidence, if he could. 

A quarterly-meeting was held in two of the 
churches of Zanesville. I was appointed to preach 
on Monday morning at nine o'clock, and the 
members of Seventh Street and Putnam Station 
were invited to be present. I begged to be ex- 
cused ; but my petitions were treated with almost 
cruel opposition, and I found that I must endure 
the trial. The congregation was a remarkably 
intelligent one. Among the ministers were Fin- 
ley, Miley, David Young, and Samuel J. Cox, — 
all of them men of distinguished ability. As 
they all sat before me, with the exception of Fin- 
ley, I was unable to look up, so embarrassed 
was I. I felt like sinking down in the pulpit; but 
I prayed, and God gave me some relief. There 
was a crowded house. I was a stranger, with 
none but God upon whom I could lean. For a 
time I spoke with great embarrassment, and felt 
that I must have help, or I must sit down. The 
old saying, " God never fails those who trust him," 
came to my relief. My courage rose. Light, 
peace, power, and love came to me. I now could 
look the congregation in the face, and those emi- 

i94 Bringing the Shkavks. 

nent ministers, whose presence I feared as mnch as 
I feared death, were as the rest of the congrega- 
tion. The people all over the house were over- 
whelmed and in tears. I sat down wondering at 
the grace which had crowned the effort. It was 
pronounced by the members to be one of the best 
meetings ever held in that church. 

I was sent for during the winter to come to 
Somerset to hold a meeting for a week. I went, 
and fifty souls were converted. I next held a 
meeting at Newark and at Cambridge, and my 
labors were not in vain. 

Early in the year James B. Finley was ap- 
pointed chaplain of the Ohio Penitentiary, and 
David Young appointed in his place as presiding 
elder. He was a man of great intellectual ability, 
of much dignity of character, sharp and incisive in 
all he said and did, and was generally a terror to 
all young men. I was afraid of him, although he 
treated me with great kindness whenever I met 

The last Quarterly-meeting Conference came. 
A new secretary was appointed. As he was writ- 
ing the Minutes, he wrote: 

Ques. "Are there any appeals?" 

Ans. "None." 

Ques. "Are there any complaints ?" 
Ans. "None." 

Mr. Young, interrupting him, said: 
"Now what sense is there in all that? 'Are 
there any appeals? Are there any complaints?'" 
The secretary was frightened, and said: "I 



do n't know. I have followed the Minutes of other 

Mr. Young said: "That is no reason. I want 
to know what sense there is in it, and what it 
is for?" 

I felt deeply for the terrified secretary, and I 
said : 

"Mr. President, I see no reason, unless to make 
the president do his duty by asking the usual 

He replied: "If the president don't do his 
duty, arraign him and try him for it." 

I answered: "That would be too large a con- 
tract for a young man like me." 

He took the pen out of the hands of the secre- 
tary, and wrote the Minutes of the Conference him- 
self. When the business of the Conference was all 
attended to, he was still writing. I waited for some- 
time after, when he exclaimed with some feeling: 

" I have been waiting for nearly a half-hour for 
some one to move an adjournment." 

I said: "Mr. President, I was waiting, before 
I made the motion, for the secretary to complete 
the Minutes." 

The color came to his face in a moment. 

"Well," said he, smiling, "that's pretty good!" 

They all said, and I believed it, that I was "done 
for" in his estimation, and was confident that I 
would be removed from the charge. I told the 
brethren so, and was ready to go. They told Mr. 
Young how I felt, and he emphatically said : 

"Never! never! never! Beyond any man of 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

the Conference, I want his return ; and he shall 

I was returned, having a much better time than 
I had any reason to expect. " It was the Lord's 
doing, and it was marvelous in my eyes." 

The Conference, in the year 1846, was held in 
Piqua, Ohio. John Miley and myself traveled in 
a buggy from Zanesville to Lancaster, where we 
stopped with an old friend, Randolph S. Foster, 
who was stationed in Lancaster. The next morn- 
ing we three, in company with R. O. Spencer, pre- 
siding elder of the Chillicothe District, started for 
Piqua in buggies. The second day after this we 
reached Piqua in the evening, and R. S. Foster 
preached the opening sermon ; one of the ablest 
of his life. 

Bishop Morris presided over the Conference. 
When examination of character began, he called 
the name of David Young, to whom I have re- 
ferred, and asked: " Is there anything against 
Brother Young?" 

The answer was, " No." 

He then said : " Brother Young, have you any- 
thing to say ?" 

Brother Young replied : "I am a very unworthy 
minister of the Lord Jesus Christ. I do n't know 
whether I have ever done any good; whether I 
have ever led anybody to Christ." Choking with 
emotion, he was retiring from the room, when 
Bishop Morris arose to his feet, and said : 

" Well spoken ! Brother Young has at least one 
son in the gospel, and he stands before you." 



Having completed my fourth year in the Con- 
ference, I was elected and ordained an elder by 
Bishop Morris, and by the laying on of the hands of 
a number of elders who have long since gone to 
their reward. I was returned to Putnam Station, 
and was most cordially welcomed back by the en- 
tire Church. 

On my arrival at the charge I first met Miss 
Sarah Ann Thomas, and the impression again 
came to my mind that she, one day, would become 
my wife. I said nothing about this for some time; 
but after much thought and prayer, to her sur- 
prise, I addressed her and was accepted. On the 
24th of November, 1846, we were united together 
in marriage by John Miley, assisted by George 
C. Crum, at her residence in the town. I believed 
then, as I have believed ever since, that this 
union was in harmony with God's will and in 
answer to prayer. We immediately left on a bridal 
trip. We visited my relatives, Mr. Levi Rhine- 
hart and his family, and then went to Cincinnati, 
and from there to Felicity, Ohio, on a visit to my 

In due time we returned, and I began my work 
with renewed energy and zeal. The year was one 
of much prosperity and peace. I longed for a 
larger field. At Moxahala, two miles below Zanes- 
ville, there was a large distillery and a great num- 
ber of inhabitants, generally employees of the 
distillery. I felt that I ought to visit and preach 
to them, which I did, and much interest was 
awakened. I held meeting there for several days. 

Bringing thk Sheavks. 

Many were converted, and a class of about thirty- 
five members was formed. A few years after, the 
distillery disappeared, and has never since been 

My pastorate at Putnam was full of interest. 
Two or three incidents I will mention : 

One evening, when a deep revival interest per- 
vaded the congregation, I left the pulpit in order 
to speak to some persons seeking Christ. When I 
returned, a number of others had come to the 
altar, among whom was a large, noble, digni- 
fied,, intelligent-looking man. He was kneeling 
with his face toward the congregation and looking 
upward. I approached him and said : 

" My friend, though a stranger, I am glad to 
see you here." 

He replied: "This is the last place I expected 
to be an hour since. When I came into the con- 
gregation this evening, I was a proud Pharisee, 
thanking God that I was not as other men ; that 
I was not like these poor despised Methodists, 
whom I regarded with pity. But the Holy Spirit 
threw his light upon my soul, though 'within 
there was nothing but rottenness and dead men's 
bones.' I was educated in the Presbyterian Church 
in Ireland, but never saw the wickedness of my 
heart as I see it now, nor felt the necessity of a 
great change as I feel it now. I hope, sir, I shall 
have your counsel and your prayers." 

I found him to be a man of unusual intelli- 
gence, and I took great interest in him. Before 
the meeting closed he found " the pearl of great 



price," and, "as a babe- in Christ, " he was found at 
the feet of Jesus, ready to receive the loving 
attention of the Church of the L,ord Jesus Christ. 

This gentleman's name was Brown. His wife 
was an Episcopalian, and her brother was rector 
of the Episcopal Church in Delaware. She utterly 
disliked the Methodists, and, when she found that 
her husband had been at the altar and had made 
a profession of religion, it was a fearful blow to 
her pride. Mr. Brown was not present at the 
service on Sabbath morning, but at the evening 
service he was there in his ordinary clothes. I 
preached from the text that night : " The pride 
of thine heart hath deceived thee." Mrs. Brown, 
having locked up her husband's Sunday clothes so 
as to prevent him from coming to church in the 
morning, mistrusted him in the evening. Surmis- 
ing that he might be at the Methodist Church, she 
took a seat near the door just as I announced my 
text. As I spoke of pride and the manner in 
which human beings are deceived by it, she 
accosted a lady friend of mine who sat by her 
side, and exclaimed: 

" That is very unkind ! Who told him about 
me ? Somebody must have done so or he never 
would have known it. I think it very unkind for 
a gentleman to expose a lady as he has exposed 
me before this whole congregation." 

The lady replied: " He does not know you." 

" Yes he does," she said. 

As I brought my sermon to a close, she said : 
" He appears to be a good, honest man, and I 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

am surprised that a man looking like a gentle- 
man should have exposed a lady as he has ex- 
posed me." 

Seekers had filled the altar. Mr. Brown was 
there, kneeling and pointing them to Christ. 
After a moment's thought, I said : 

u Mr. Brown, will you lead us in prayer?" 

He responded, and such a prayer I scarcely 
ever heard. The whole congregation was im- 
pressed by it. I had occasion, a moment after, to 
walk down the aisle ; as I did so, a lady took my 
arm and said : 

"Your name is Mr. Fee?" 

I replied that it was. 

" I am Mrs. Brown, the wife of the gentleman 
who has just prayed. Did you ever hear such a 
prayer in your life? It was the most wonderful 
prayer I ever heard ! I have read the prayer- 
book through and through, and there is not one 
to equal it." 

Her pride which had been so deeply moved by 
her husband's confession, was now heightened, if 
possible, by her husband's prayer. 

Mr. Brown was confirmed, and united with the 
Episcopal Church at Zanesville, where he became 
a great power for good. Mr. Smallwood, the 
rector, was so impressed by it that he asked the 
privilege of preaching one week-day in my pulpit. 
It was granted. He was pleased with his recep- 
tion, and said to me: 

" Were it not for a canon of our Church, I 
would be most happy to reciprocate the courtesy 


20 i 

you have extended to me, and invite you to my 
own pulpit." 

Mr. Brown attended our church whenever he 
could, and his wife was with him and greatly en- 
joyed the services. His business at length called 
him to New Orleans, where he spent some months. 
The cholera was raging while he was there, and 
one day he was attacked by that fatal disease. 
It soon became apparent to his physician and 
himself that he must die. He said to his friend 
who was with him : 

" Mr. B., I am ready ; all is peace and joy; 
I die in a strange land, but I am sure of heaven ! 
Here is my Bible, which has been my constant 
companion during my Christian life ; the truth of 
which now sustains me. As I am on the brink 
of death, take it and carry it carefully to my wife, 
and commend it to her as the widow's guide and 
comfort. Now, I have one more thing to do, and 
then I am done. Here is my prayer-book. It 
has been a great comfort and blessing to me. It 
has helped me in my devotions. I want you to 
carry this to Zanesville, see Mr. Fee, and present 
it to him as the last memento of a dying Chris- 
tian's love. Tell him I have never forgotten 
him, for he led me to Christ, and I will look for 
him and welcome him to the shores of eternal life." 

Soon after this he fell asleep, and his body 
rests in a foreign land. il Peace to his ashes !" 
Mrs. Brown, in the last days of her life, became a 
devoted Methodist, and I have no warmer friend 
than she proved to be. 


Bringing th£ ShkavEs. 


One day I called to see a lady who was a 
member of my Church. Her husband was a 
wicked man. She looked very sad, and I thought 
was greatly discouraged. There was, evidently, 
some secret in her life which she did not reveal. 
I said : 

" Shall I pray with you?" 

She hesitated for a moment, and I remarked : 
"If it is not agreeable, I will defer it." 
She said, " Pray !" 

I kneeled down and prayed. During the 
prayer I heard a strange, suppressed muttering in 
the adjoining room, which w 7 as closed up. I left, 
and thought no more about it until that evening, 
when a brother of the lady, who, was a member 
of my Church, came with another brother to see 
me, and said : 

" I suppose you will have to expel me from 
the Church." 

I said, " I have heard nothing against you." 

" Have n't you ?" said he. 


" Did you not hear what occurred after you left 
the house of my brother-in-law? He assaulted 
and abused my sister shamefully. She is in a crit- 
ical condition. When my brother and myself saw 
it, we lost all control over ourselves and beat him 
almost to death. He had whipped her a number 
of times before, but we let him alone until now" 

I expressed my sorrow, when he asked : 

" But, do you not censure us?" 



I replied: "Yes, I do censure you for not 
whipping that man before. If she had been my 
sister I would have whipped him long ago." 

Whether I did right in saying this, I do not 
say. After this wretched man learned what I said, 
he conducted himself with greater propriety, and 
was never known again to treat his wife with 
cruelty. In a few months I was called to his bed- 
side. He was dying in a fit of delirium tremens. 
My heart became as hard as stone, and my mind 
as dark as midnight. I tried to pray for him ; 
but I could not. He died as he had lived. I can 
only leave him with God. The Judge of all the 
earth will do right. 


Captain Ayers, commander of the Zanesville 
steamer, Belle Zane, gave me the following account 
of the wreck of that steamer : 

" The boiler exploded, killing a number of 
persons, most of whom were from Zanesville. The 
boat soon began to sink, and the passengers — some 
fifteen in number — ran to the hurricane-deck for 
safety. The deck floated off. If the wind had 
risen, we all would have been washed away and 
drowned. We had no means of reaching the 
shore. We were in a wild region of the Missis- 
sippi. No help was in sight. Men and women 
were frantic with fear. There was only one in all 
that boat who seemed composed. He was a man 
past middle age. He sat down, and taking a 
book from his pocket, began to read. They sus- 

204 Bringing the Sheaves. 

pected he must be a religious man, and said: 4 If 
he is, we must ask him to pray.' They asked him 
if he was a Christian. He said : ' 1 am. I am a 
Methodist local preacher.' 4 Won't you pray for 
us ?' they asked. ( 1 will,' he replied. Before he 
prayed he read the twenty-third Psalm, 1 The Lord 
is my Shepherd,' etc. His countenance lighted 
up with an unearthly joy. He then kneeled on 
the rough platform to which we were clinging, 
and O, I never heard such a prayer on earth ! He 
prayed for us all, commending us to God. Then 
with expressions of joy he said : ' We shall be 
delivered ; but I know not how. I feel that God 
has heard me and our prayer is answered.' In a 
little while we were seen from the shore. Small 
boats were sent to our rescue, and we were brought 
back to our friends and our homes." 


There was in my charge a man who claimed a 
membership in the Church. I never heard of his 
doing any good. He was the greatest reformer in 
the town, but was never charged with being ex- 
emplary in his own deportment. He was said to 
be a tale-bearer, a fault-finder, a tattler, and a 

There were signs of a revival. This man was 
stirred up, and was doing much harm. His foot- 
prints could be seen almost everywhere. I had 
been so tried that I determined to endure this no 
longer without a most effective protest. The next 
Sabbath I preached a sermon against tale-bearing 



and tattling, which I had prepared with great 
care, solely for the benefit of this man. I drew 
his picture, described his spirit and conduct so 
graphically, as I thought, that any one could read 
it and understand it. I supposed that I would 
give offense. I had learned that any one who 
offended him would be in danger of personal 
violence. The sermon, it was agreed, had hit the 
mark. Supposing that I would have a personal 
encounter, I was on the lookout. 

I went to a class-meeting, and was invited to 
lead it. Just after I began, who should come in 
but this tale-bearer? I prepared myself for a 
round of personal abuse, if not something worse. 
I spoke to all the members of the class present, 
and at the close asked the tale-bearer if he had 
anything to say. He promptly arose, and said 
that it had been the happiest day he had spent 
for eleven years ; it was the old gospel, such as 
he used to hear in Virginia; and that he really 
was so impressed by the sermon that he could 
scarcely contain himself. The class was mostly 
composed of ladies, and addressing them he said : 

" Sisters, after hearing such a sermon as that, 
if you don't give up your tea-parties and quit 
your gossiping and tale-bearing, I shall think 
there is no hope for you." 

I dismissed the meeting, and never tried after- 
wards to preach a sermon for any one member of 
my congregation. 

My second year at Putnam charge closed. My 
pastorate had not been in vain. About two hun- 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

dred souls had been converted. The membership 
was largely increased, and their financial ability 
so improved that they could now support a married 
man without difficulty. I had reason to thank God 
and take courage. From that day to this I have 
been treated with great kindness by the people of 

The Conference convened in Columbus, Ohio, 
September, i, 1847, Bishop E. S. Janes presiding. 
I had had no interview with my presiding elder. 
I had been attacked with fever and ague, and my 
health was much impaired. I went to the Confer- 
ence, submitting my case to God and the Church, 
and believing that all would be for the best. I was 
entertained at the Conference by Peter Hayden, 
Esq., a contractor at that time in the Ohio Pen- 
itentiary, and afterwards one of the most distin- 
guished business men of Columbus. He, with his 
wife, treated me with all possible courtesy and 
consideration. Bishop Waugh was also at the Con- 
ference, and Thomas E. Bond, of Baltimore, 
editor of the Christian Advocate and Journal, New 
York City. During his visit here, Dr. Bond 
preached a sermon of great interest and power. 

At the close of the Conference session the 
appointments were read. I had received no intima- 
tion as to my own appointment, and listened until 
most of the names were gone over. At last the 
bishop announced : " Guyandotte (West Virginia), 
William I. Fee." David Reed was now my presid- 
ing elder. Never was I more surprised than at this 
appointment. J. M. Jameson, my presiding elder 



on the Zanesville District, which included Putnam, 
had never said a word to me on the subject. 

It required a journey of nearly two hundred 
miles to reach the extreme part of my charge. I 
was now a married man, and there was no provision 
made for my wife. I must leave her at home. 
Fever and ague threatened to prostrate me. West 
Virginia, or that portion of it embraced in the 
Ohio Conference, was in a terrible state of excite- 
ment resulting from a division of the Church ; 
and the slavery agitation was then at its height. 
Some of the preachers had been warned by public 
meetings to leave, and others had been driven out. 
Families and societies were rent asunder by the 
separation of the Southern Conferences. They 
had voted on the subject of their Church relation- 
ship, pro and con. This bore the bitterest fruit. 
The question was, whether we could maintain an 
existence on that soil. The question of slavery 
would not down. What could I do with such sur- 
roundings and such prospects before me? 

I rode from Columbus to Zanesville, some sixty 
miles, in a coach. To my surprise I found Bishop 
Waugh and Thomas E. Bond in the coach. They 
knew the hardships of my case, and Bishop Waugh 
began at once to talk to me in a loving, sympa- 
thetic manner : He said : 

" If all the facts had been known, you would 
not have been appointed to that work." 

I replied : " Bishop, as I see it, it is God's call, 
and I go, no matter what awaits me there. I have 
no bitterness, no unkindness in my heart against 


Bringing the Shkaves. 

anybody, North, South, East, or West. I can not 
go there in the bitter spirit which prevails on both 
sides of the line. I will endeavor to preach Christ 
crucified, in the spirit of Christ, as well as I can, 
and leave the rest to him." 

He commended this resolution, telling me it 
would win. He then gave me some advice, and 
was seconded by Dr. Bond. Said the bishop : 

" When I was a young man like yourself, I was 
sent to Greenbrier Circuit, Virginia, not very far 
from your work. It was a great disappointment to 
me. When I reached the place I found it a wilder- 
ness. It had just been settled. Rude cabins were 
my only places of entertainment. I was directed 
by my presiding elder to go at once to the house 
of the recording steward. He gave me an excel- 
lent account of this man ; told me he was the most 
prominent man on the circuit, and that when I 
reached his house I would be at home. I had 
lived in good style previously, and hoped, when I 
reached the house of the recording steward, I 
should have a good home, with all the conveniences 
which I had formerly enjoyed. When I came 
within a few miles of my destination I began to 
look for his mansion, but saw nothing inviting. 
At last I came to a piece of cleared ground on 
which stood a cabin and a small barn, and there 
was a garden ; beyond these there was nothing 
inviting. I said: " I will go in and inquire for the 
steward." I met a shoemaker dressed in home- 
made clothing. He had a very intelligent counte- 
nance and an impressive manner. In reply to my 



inquiry he said : c I am the recording steward.* 
All my fine expectations were crushed. He looked 
at me eagerly, and I at him as best I could. At 
last he said very sorrowfully : 

" 4 Young man, you are disappointed. You ex- 
pected something better than this, and perhaps 
you deserve something a great deal better ; but it 
is the best we have, and you are welcome, thrice 
welcome. Consider this your home, and before 
you leave you will feel that it is better than you 
thought for. And now, young man, I understand 
the situation. You can let me know of your dis- 
appointment as much as you please, but don't let 
it be known on the circuit. It would mar your 
prospects, and blight your ministerial life, perhaps. 
Be good in the spirit of the Master. Be courteous, 
be very, very cheerful, and you may win in the 
wilderness souls to Christ who "will sparkle in 
your crown of rejoicing in the days of the Lord 
Jesus." ' 

" He assured me of the deepest sympathy and 
the warmest love of these backwoods people. In 
twenty-four hours I was at home. I went to my 
work cheerfully and had a glorious time. It was 
the first year of my itinerant life, and I look to it 
with more pleasure than any appointment I have 
ever received. And now, my brother, I do not see 
how your appointment could be much worse than 
it is ; but go with the love of a Christian ; go in 
the spirit of Jesus. He has said, 1 L,o, I am with 
you alway, even to the end of the world.' He will 
stand by you, and give you success." 



OHIO. 1847-1851. 

BEFORE I left Zanesville the " cloud" had 
passed, and I was ready for my work. The 
preachers and the people there alike opposed 
the appointment, and advised me not to go. The 
presiding elder, J. M. Jameson, came, deeply af- 
flicted at his own mistake, as he thought, and made 
all the atonement possible, and said, "Do n't go." 
I replied : 

"Yes, I am going. While I am loyal to you, I 
must be loyal to the Church, and loyal to God, and 
my conscience. I can not do otherwise." 

My poor wife said, heroically: "Go. I wish I 
could go with you to your circuit; but go. It is 
your duty, and I will bear your absence as well as 
I can." 

I learned that I must travel two hundred miles 
on horseback, most of it through a wild country; 
and in some places it would be dangerous, for it 
was infested by robbers. The time of parting 
came. As I clasped to my heart my young wife, 
who had left all for my sake and Christ's, I said, 
"Good-bye," not knowing what would befall me 
amid the exciting scenes upon which I was about 
to enter. God alone could give me the comfort 



which I needed, and the promise, " Lo, I am with 
you," was never dearer to me than now. 

On my way, when near my charge, I lost my 
pocket-book, which contained my credentials and or- 
dination parchments as a deacon and an elder, with 
other valuable papers. I could show no proof that 
I was a minister, and I knew no one on the charge. 
The papers were found, however, and returned to 
me, and I have them now. Every other day, while 
on the journey, I was attacked with fever, and com- 
pelled to lie down under the trees until it passed 
away, and then resumed my travel. I reached 
Guyandotte in safety, and was most cordially re- 
ceived by Percival Smith and his brother, D. R.- 
Smith ; his brother-in-law, Mr. Davis ; Major A. M. 
Whitney, who kept the hotel; John Chambers, 
and other true and loyal men. 

The situation, while very discouraging, was bet- 
ter than I had anticipated. The circuit was fifty 
miles wide, and seventy or eighty miles long, having 
two hundred members. The appointments were 
about twenty miles apart. The circuit extended 
along the Ohio River, from Kanawha to the mouth 
of the Big Sandy River, running up within a few 
miles of Charleston, now the capital of West Vir- 
ginia, and thence down the Kanawha River to its 
mouth. It embraced Guyandotte and Barbours- 
ville — the county seat of Cabell County. There 
was not one church edifice left to us. All had 
been taken by the Church South. Everything 
was new and strange. There was a society in 
Guyandotte, but in Barboursville we had no mem- 


Bringing the Shkayks. 

bers. The most prominent people on the circuit 
were members of the Church South, and bitterly 
opposed to us on account of slavery. 

There were very few roads. We traveled on by- 
paths over the mountains, and along the ravines 
and creeks. Every thing was wild and forbidding. 
When out of Guyandotte I met with much kind- 
ness; but the people were poor. During my two 
weeks' round on the circuit I never tasted wheat- 
bread, and drank mountain-tea or spice-tea, in- 
stead of tea and coffee. The bread which I ate 
was baked in the ashes, and while it was the best 
the people had, and prepared for me cheerfully, it 
was not adapted to a man well-nigh broken down 
with fever and ague. Often, when in the wilder- 
ness, many miles from a habitation, the chill and 
fever would come upon me, and, almost delirious, 
I would hitch my horse, and lie down until it 
passed off, and then resume my journey. 

I found within my circuit at that time four 
hundred thousand acres of land owned by a com- 
pany in New York, which had been purchased for 
twelve and a half cents an acre. There was very 
little sale for this land at any price. 

Nothing was talked about scarcely but Church 
division. To have come from Ohio branded me 
at once, in the estimation of many, as a dangerous 
man. Often my life was imperiled, and I knew 
not what a day might bring forth ; but I never re- 
fused to go to any appointment because of threat- 
ened danger. I was enabled, by God's help, to 
maintain the Spirit of my Master, and to "pray 



for those who despitefully used me and perse- 
cuted me." 

Having completed my first round on the cir- 
cuit, covering a period of two weeks, I prepared 
the way, as I hoped, for a better state of things. 
On the second round my congregations largely in- 
creased, and appeared to be more hopeful. On my 
third round I began to understand the habits of the 
people, and their real condition. Prejudice began 
to wear away, and many of those who were re- 
garded as our bitter enemies attended the preach- 
ing. I found an element in the mountain society 
for which I soon had the highest admiration. 
But for them we could not have lived. They held 
our enemies in subjection. They would have run 
to our defense at the risk of their own lives. They 
had no sympathy for the slave oligarchy, the rul- 
ing class. They remembered with gratitude that 
the preachers who had come there were their best 
friends, and had done all that was done for their 
betterment. They were the real nobility of West 

There were scarcely any schools on the circuit. 
For example, I put up at a house where the pro- 
prietor owned five thousand acres of land. There 
were nine in the family, and yet there was not a 
book in the house; neither himself, his wife, nor 
his children could read or write, nor was there one 
school-house in all that district where his children 
could be educated. I did what I could to remedy 
the evil, and I hope not in vain. There was here 
a class of poor white people whom the slaves 


Bringing thk Shkavks. 

termed " white trash," ready, upon provocation, to 
take our lives, because, they said, we came to steal 
their "niggers." A thousand of them together 
would not have been able to purchase one slave. 
This class was influenced against us by the poli- 
ticians. On one occasion a Bible was needed at a 
county-seat when the oath of office was to be 
taken. It required a ride of twenty miles before 
one could be found, to use it in compliance with 
the State law. 

Our first quarterly-meeting was held in Guy- 
andotte. Men and women came from all parts of 
the country. It was like the gathering of the per- 
secuted Christians in the primitive times. 

What power there was in our love-feast! A 
number of venerable, noble men, sons of the for- 
ests, were there, and ready to die for their princi- 
ples, if need be. Among these was Daniel Spur- 
lock, a prominent man in that part of the State, 
and brother of two leading ministers who affiliated 
with the Church South. But Daniel was not to be 
moved. He was regarded with respect and admi- 
ration by all who knew him, and he enjoyed the 
situation. He used to say the Methodist Church 
never prospered until it was " kicked out of doors." 
It was a wonderful benediction to be with him, and 
to hold service in his house. Then there was 
Squire Hinchman, a worthy man, educated, sen- 
sible, consecrated to God, and ready, if need be, 
to die for him or for his cause. He ended his life 
in Libby Prison, a martyr for the faith which he 
professed and the liberty which he was endeavor- 


2I 5 

ing to promote. There were present also Colonel 
James Carroll, a lineal descendant of Charles Car- 
roll, one of the signers of the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence; James Black, true as steel, and faith- 
ful to the last; Captain Jordan, who had a church 
in his house, and was worthy to be held in ever- 
lasting remembrance. But time would fail me to 
tell of scores of others whose names are written 
in heaven, and ought to be immortal in the annals 
of our Church. 

Following the quarterly-meeting, arrangements 
were made for the entertainment of my wife. 
After an absence of four months I returned to 
Zanesville, soon to leave with her for our first 
home. On our arrival at my appointment in West 
Virginia, the first greeting which Mrs. Fee received 
was from a lady member of the Church, who told 
her that they had no use for preachers' wives, and 
that preachers had no business to get married. 
Mrs. Fee bore this insult in silence, as she has 
borne all the trials of an itinerant life from that 
time to this. 

Major Whitney, from New York City, the pro- 
prietor of the hotel, with his wife, a most hospi- 
table lady, who had been brought up in the State of 
Maine, entertained me. These people had more lib- 
eral ideas than prevailed generally in that country. 
I had received but little to support myself and wife, 
and my money was nearly all expended. Because 
of traveling in the mountains, my garments were 
almost worn out, and I was not able to clothe my- 
self decently from the salary which I received. 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

But these people were poor, and did the best they 
could, and I had no right to complain. 

About this time the sectional controversy raged 
intensely, as it was noised about among our ene- 
mies that, at our General Conference the next 
year, West Virginia would be set off into a sepa- 
rate Conference, and that the policy of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church was to maintain, at all 
hazards, an ecclesiastical existence in the State of 
Virginia. As this impression increased, our ene- 
mies grew more bitter, until persecution broke out 
in a vindictive form. 

H. Z. Adams and B. N. Spahr were stationed 
on the Charleston Circuit, which adjoined Guyan- 
dotte. The slaveholders and their friends, to the 
number of two hundred, called a meeting to be 
held at Maiden, some eight or ten miles above 
Charleston. This meeting was to be arrayed 
against what they termed Northern preachers and 
people. Previous to this there had been but little 
disturbance in all that region. The meeting was 
held. H. Z. Adams and B. N. Spahr drove up to 
the place — a very dangerous operation — and found 
a large number present, all of whom were full of 
vindictiveness against the ministers and laymen of 
the Methodst Episcopal Church. They were just 
passing a preamble and resolution to the effect 
that, whereas, we were Abolitionists, and were 
about to incite the slaves of West Virginia to an 
insurrection, and were, besides, citizens of another 
State, we had no right there ; that our very pres- 
ence threatened the peace and safety of society. 



They passed resolutions commanding us to leave 
the State peaceably at once, and threatened that, 
if we did not do this, we should be driven out 

Mr. Adams was a man of stalwart form, about 
six feet tall, weighing about two hundred pounds, 
straight as an arrow, and fearless of danger. He 
begged the privilege of saying a few words in de- 
fense of those who were attacked ; but they paid 
no attention to him, and passed the resolution 
over his head. A minister of another denomina- 
tion, arose and complimented the meeting upon the 
unanimity with which the resolution was passed. 
Said he : 

" I regard these men as Christians and gentle- 
men, but they have no business here. Let them 
go to Ohio where they were born, and where they 

Mr. Adams sprang to his feet, and said: 
" Mr. President, — You would not permit me to 
speak in regard to the preamble and resolutions 
which were passed; you will now permit me to 
speak in reply to the minister who has just taken 
his seat. I am glad, Sir, that he regards us as 
Christians and gentlemen. I would to God I 
could reciprocate the compliment. He said to me 
and to others : ' You have no business here. Go to 
Ohio where you belong.' I do n't belong to Ohio. 
I have the honor — if there be any honor in it — to 
have been born in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 
If I was not born wealthy, I was born free, and my 
ancestors, generally, have lived and died here, and 


Bringing thk Sheaves. 

are buried in the soil of Virginia. My father and 
mother are buried here. My brothers and sisters 
who live, live here, and those who are dead are 
interred here. And my wife and my children are 
buried in the soil of Virginia. And now, before 
you shall tear me from the place of my birth, and 
the place which contains the remains of my be- 
loved wife and children, you may cut my throat — 
as you probably will — and carry my remains to the 
State of Ohio, but I will never go alive. As to my 
opinions on the subject of slavery, they are my 
property. I have said but little on the subject 
here ; but my private opinion is, that the man who 
will not lift his voice against this traffic that is 
going on in this country, and in this very neigh- 
borhood, in human flesh and blood, is neither a 
friend to his country nor loyal to his God. You 
may help yourselves if you can." 

It is said that many of the auditors were in 
tears. Mr. Adams was the victor in this conflict. 
They determined that he should preach no longer 
in his own church in Charleston. When the next 
Sunday night came, his appointment was an- 
nounced. A multitude crowded to the church. 
Many said he would not dare preach; but he de- 
clared, " Preach I will, live or die." When the hour 
arrived, he arose, and, in a very impressive man- 
ner, announced the hymn, No. 462, containing 
these verses : 

"Awed by a mortal's frown, shall I 
Conceal the Word of God most high ? 
How then before thee shall I dare 
To stand, or how thine anger bear? 



Yea, let men rage ; since thou wilt spread 
Thy shadowing wing around my head ; 
Since in all pain thy tender love 
Will still my sure refreshment prove." 

It was sung with a will, and the spirit of the 
prayer that followed was in keeping with the 
spirit of the hymn. He arose and announced his 

"Now, when Daniel knew that the writing was 
signed, he went into his house; and his windows 
being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he 
kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and 
prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did 
aforetime." (Dan. vi, 10.) 

Such a sermon, we suppose, was never preached 
in West Virginia as Mr. Adams preached that night. 
God was with him, his enemies were awed, and 
his friends- rejoiced. A victory was gained for the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, its ministers, and its 
members, and for the cause of truth, which is 
fresh and green to-day. I had the honor, a short 
time after this, of uniting in marriage the Rev. 
Mr. Adams and Miss Elizabeth Chambers, a lady 
of Guyandotte, who yet lives to mourn the depart- 
ure of her noble and honored husband. 

In December, 1847, there was a great flood in 
the Ohio River. The river rose rapidly, and was 
soon over its banks. I was boarding at that time 
in the hotel. Travelers were delayed by the flood, 
and the house was well filled with guests. Mem- 
bers of Congress and distinguished statesmen were 
in the habit of stopping here on their way to 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

Washington City. When the flood had reached 
its height, there were six feet of water in the din- 
ing-room. Guests and servants alike were com- 
pelled to occupy the second story. Some houses 
were swept away, and we had serious apprehen- 
sions that we might share the same fate. One 
building, between Guyandotte and Cincinnati, was 
undermined and wrecked, and" seventeen persons 
were drowned. For ten days I did not place my 
feet upon terra firma. All traffic was suspended; 
but I had a good field for labor in the hotel. The 
subject of slavery was calmly discussed by mem- 
bers of Congress and others; but the best of feel- 
ing prevailed. I found gentlemen of the extreme 
South very approachable on that subject. To me 
the existence of slavery was a fearful problem, as 
it had been almost from the beginning of my re- 
ligious life. 

It had been my habit not to allow myself to be 
in the company of any stranger in personal con- 
versation for fifteen minutes at a time without in- 
troducing the subject of religion. I did this dur- 
ing our ten days' confinement in the hotel, and 
have every reason to believe that it resulted in 
permanent good. A gentleman and his wife, from 
Eastern Virginia, were happily converted. 

Among the guests at the hotel was a very quiet, 
dignified gentleman, recently from England, whose 
name I ascertained was John B. Pincheon. He 
had come to West Virginia for the purpose of bet- 
tering his fortunes. One day I was conversing 
with a number of gentlemen of intelligence on 



the merits of different poets. A number of per- 
sons gathered around us, and were listening with 
much interest to what was being discussed. Mr. 
Pincheon sat by and listened most attentively. 
At last he ventured to say : 

" Gentlemen, will you permit me to obtrude 
my opinion? Young's 'Night Thoughts,' in many 
respects, surpasses almost every other poem." 

Quotations were made from others : from Mil- 
ton, Gray, Collins, and other eminent poets ; but in 
reply to every one of these, while acknowledging 
their excellence, he would present some startling 
^ quotation from Young, until we were all compelled 
to admit that he was master of the field in the dis- 
cussion. He received, with great deference, our 
congratulations and expressions of appreciation. 

I began to study this gentleman's character, 
and made up my mind, from all I saw and heard, 
that he must have a history. He was not only a 
man of intelligence, but of refinement as well. I 
ventured to approach him, and learned that he was 
able to repeat from memory, almost all of Young's 
" Night Thoughts," and a large portion of Milton's 
"Paradise Lost." He then told me that he had 
been somewhat unsuccessful in business ; had left 
his family in Europe, but hoped to remove them 
to the United States. I then said : 

" My dear sir, there is an impression upon my 
mind that if you are not a Christian now, you 
have been; and if you are not at present a minis- 
ter of the gospel, you have been, or you feel that 
you ought to be." 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

He replied, " 1 have never indicated this to 
any one, so far as I know." 

"But," said I, " in my inmost soul I feel that 
such is the case." 

He said: "Then sir, to tell you the truth, I 
am a Wesleyan Methodist, and have been for years 
a Methodist local preacher. I feel lost without 
Church relationship. For months I have not 
labored in the vineyard of the Lord. This has 
troubled me, and has brought coldness upon my 

u My dear brother," said I, "this ought to be 
known publicly. How long will you remain here?" 

" I shall remain," he replied, " until I ascertain 
what I am to do, and where I am to go." 

Said I, "Will you attend our meeting?" 

"I will," he answered. 

He was present at the very first meeting I held. 
He offered a remarkable prayer, and made a few 
eloquent remarks afterwards. All were impressed 
that he was a good man, and that he possessed 
marvelous abilities, which would make him very 
useful in this country. Suffice it to say, I invited 
him to exhort and preach; and it was not long 
until the West Virginia Conference was formed, 
and he became a member of it, and one of the 
most useful and talented ministers who were ever 
connected with it. He died not long since, in the 
land of his adoption, in the faith he had so ably 
preached to others. He made a noble record, and 
"though dead, he yet speaketh." 

In the month of February, 1848, the bitterness 



of our persecution greatly increased. Our enemies 
were determined that we should, in some way, be 
driven from that territory. My charge, finding 
that they would not be able to give me anything 
like a support, and as there was little prospect of 
public sentiment changing for the better, proposed 
to abandon the effort. Several of the leading mem- 
bers came to the conclusion that they might as 
well surrender, first as last. They notified the 
proprietor of the hotel that they would not be re- 
sponsible for my boarding. If he boarded myself 
and wife and child longer, he must do it at his 
own risk. It seemed to me that the trials of my life 
culminated that day. My disease of fever and ague 
seemed to be almost incurable. I was alone in my 
room. The fearful depression which preceded an 
attack of ague was upon me. It appeared to me 
that I had no friends upon earth or in heaven. I 
was sincere, I was honest. I had left home, and 
friends, and kindred, and all earthly good, it seemed 
to me, for Christ's sake and the gospel's. My 
money was gone, my friends, as I supposed them 
to be, had deserted me, and there was not one star 
of hope to illumine my firmament of darkness. 

While thus gloomily pondering the trials of my 
life, a colored waiter, a slave, came to see me — as 
she did sometimes — to look after my clothes, and 
repair them if needed. She said to me : 

" Child, how sorry we are for you! We would 
help you, if we could. You are here suffering for 
us ; and yet, you know, we dare not say one word. 
We love you next to Jesus Christ." 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

She then offered to help me just as far as she 
could ; but I said, " No, leave me." 

I felt that my heart would break. I had reached 
the depths of anguish. I locked the door, and, 
kneeling before my Bible on a chair, said : 

"O, my Father; if there is relief for me, let my 
eye, as I open the Bible, rest upon some words 
that will give me relief!" 

I opened the Bible at random, and the first 
words upon which my eye rested were these : 
"Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou 
dwell in the land, and, verily, thou shalt be fed." 
(Psa. xxxvii, 3.) 

In one moment relief came. The clouds dis- 
persed, the sun of God's presence shone again, and 
all was light around me. Deliverance had come. 
I was the victor through Christ. I had not one 
cent of money, nor a second suit of clothes. I had 
never been reduced to such a state before ; but I 
was happy, yea, more happy than if I had been 
worth a million dollars. In an hour the landlord 
came to my room, and told me what had happened. 
He made some very severe remarks about my 
friends having deserted me. He said: 

"Don't be uneasy; I am your friend. I will 
board you gratis as long as it is your pleasure to 
serve this people, unworthy as they are of such 
labor as you have bestowed upon them. This is 
your home." 

That night there was prayer-meeting. At its 
close I rose and said : 

" Unless you positively object, this will be the 



commencement of a protracted meeting. If you 
are against it, say so; if any of you are in favor of 
it, let me know." 

One man, a Mr. Davis, said : 

"I want it. I will stand by you, and help you 
at every cost." 

The next morning a note was handed to me, 
stating that a friend desired me to call at the mer- 
chant tailor's. I found that a prominent lady of 
the society had ordered for me a splendid suit of 
broadcloth, which she begged me to accept as evi- 
dence of her sympathy with me and her interest 
in the cause for which I was laboring. God had 
not deserted me. 

The next evening came, and a goodly number 
were present to commence the revival-meeting. 
Six came forward at once for prayers, and some of 
them were converted. The work went on every 
night for several weeks, and I think about seventy 
found the Savior. Nearly all the white people 
about the hotel were converted. 

I had been the subject of much criticism be- 
cause I boarded at the hotel ; but it was the only 
place where I could board. The landlord was 
greatly blessed. His two daughters, a son, and 
a brother were converted, as was also the clerk 
of the hotel. The influence of the revival ex- 
tended all over the town and the sourrounding 
country; and from that day to this, the Church in 
that city has stood, in the midst of all her trials, 

One night our enemies determined, in some way 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

or other, to break up our meeting. In case of dis- 
turbance, we had no protection from those who ad- 
ministered the law; for in that place the public 
authorities were all against us. Some seven per- 
sons were bowing at the altar, and the Church had 
become quiet. The impression came to me that I 
ought to ask all who had an interest at the throne 
of grace, to kneel with me, and ask God for his 
special help. We at once kneeled. I was utterly 
without hope of human help, and felt that my de- 
pendence was upon God alone. I became oblivious 
to everything around me. I heard nothing, I saw 
nothing. I only knew that I was praying to God 
for victory — such a victory as would silence our 
enemies, and vindicate the cause which we were 
laboring to promote. The darkness of midnight 
was around me. Clouds of darkness were over 
me. I prayed on, until finally it seemed as if my 
feet were standing upon the clouds that had over- 
shadowed me, and the bright sunshine of God's 
love and God's Spirit was around me. I came to 
myself, and repeated, joyfully, " Victory, victory, 
victory, through Jesus Christ !" 

I found, when I arose and turned to the scenes 
around me, that, all at once, a Divine influence 
came upon the people. Those around the altar 
were instantly converted. Many fell in all parts 
of the house, and were prostrated on the floor. 
Some ran out of the house, shrieking for mercy. 
The rowdy element was all gone. They disturbed 
us no more. So true is it that "God is our strong- 
hold in the day of trouble," 



Some time after this, as I was about to go to 
an appointment in Tazey's Valley, where there 
was no society, and where I could count upon only 
four persons in sympathy with me, and the entire 
community against me, I learned that a mob 
would beset me on the road. I was warned a num- 
ber of times not to think of going, as it might 
cause me serious trouble ; but I could not do other- 
wise than go. I went forward, trusting in God, 
who had heretofore sustained me in every hour of 
trial. When I drew near the place where I ex- 
pected to encounter 'the mob, I beheld a number 
of rough-looking persons ; but in a walk, I went 
forward, and as I approached the place, the Spirit 
of the L,ord came upon me, and I had a wonder- 
ful love for my enemies. I went on, praying that 
God would change their hearts, and that they 
might lead better a life. They were muttering 
curses, but no harm came to me, and I reached 
my appointment and organized a Church of four 
members. I believe it stands there to-day. God 
does not despise small things, and we should not. 

At one of the appointments, during the coldest 
night of the year, I occupied an upper room, 
where nothing but sheets covered the windows. 
A blizzard arose during the night, the snow 
drifted in upon my bed, and my feet were badly 
frosted. It was with the greatest difficulty that I 
was able to arise in the morning. But I mounted 
my horse and rode some miles down the Kanawha 
River to the residence of Rev. Mr. Newman, a 
true man and a noble Christian minister. Here I 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

lay in bed for some days, while the cold weather 
continued, and then, with the greatest difficulty, 
resumed my journey, and at last reached my home. 

I continued to labor with all the strength I 
possessed until the month of June, 1848, when the 
West Virginia Conference, which had been formed 
at Pittsburg by the General Conference, was to 
convene at Wheeling, West Virginia, so known 
even at this time. This met with most power- 
ful opposition, as it indicated on the part of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church a disposition to 
occupy slave territory wherever there was an 

I spent my last Sabbath in " West Virginia/' 
away up in the mountains. My text was, " God 
so loved the world," etc. Towering cliffs were 
above me as I stood on the banks of a deep ravine, 
with, perhaps, fifty people around me. I never 
had greater liberty in preaching. God was there 
in that dark ravine. I was going to Conference, 
and did not know what awaited me there. When 
I concluded the service, a gentleman came to me 
and said : 

" Can you tell me how I can get the Western 
Christian Advocate ?" 

I told him I was an agent. 

Said he, " Will you send for it ?" 

I answered, " Yes." 

He paid me for it, giving me his name, Captain 

I said, " Where shall I send it?" 
He replied, " To Barboursville." 



" How far is it from here?" 

" Only twenty-seven miles." 

" Is that your nearest post-office?" 

"It is," he replied; "but I will get it every 
two weeks; and I am rejoicing at the prospect 
of receiving the Western Christian Advocate. I 
am the only man who can read in this settle- 

At Spurlock there was a man who had been ex- 
ceedingly anxious to preach for a number of years. 
When he came to me, he presented his case again, 
saying that he had no doubt that it would be the 
easiest thing in the world for him to preach. I 
suggested a number of difficulties in his case. 
Out of ten thousand people, I think no one would 
select him as a possible clergyman. I told Brother 
Spurlock about it. Said he : 

" I expected it. I will make a suggestion. 
That man will never be satisfied until he makes 
the attempt, and I think that will satisfy him. If 
you are willing to run the risk of curing him by 
that method, I wish you would." 

We agreed that he might try it ; and the next 
Sabbath an appointment was made. All the peo- 
ple in the neighborhood were present. We had a 
large pitcher of water on the table within his 
reach. He read one of the most difficult verses in 
the Scripture. After reading the text and drink- 
ing from the pitcher, he cleared his throat, spoke 
a word or two, and then paused and took a drink 
from the pitcher ; then read a few words, then 
drank again, until at last he became confused ; 

Bringing the Sheaves. 

and, after standing dumb for a while before the 
people, he said : 

" Brother Spurlock, do n't you think I 'd better 
call it a half day and go fishing? If you will 
conclude the services, I will never trouble you 
about preaching again." That was the last of his 

The time came for me to leave this people 
much sooner than I expected. It was now in my 
heart to remain and labor on with them, if my 
health would permit, for Christ's sake. I did not 
know until then how much I loved the noble men 
and women who had stood by me in the days of 
adversity. None were more noble and heroic than 
John Chambers, of Ohio ; who finally gave me a 
home in his house, and treated me with as much 
affection as if I had been his own son. His 
daughter, Elizabeth, was married to H. Z.' 
Adams, that heroic man of whom I have spoken. 
Immediately after the marriage, he, with his wife 
and B. N. Spahr, and myself, wife and child, left 
on the steamer for Wheeling, where the Confer- 
ence was to be held with the Pittsburg Conference. 
Bishop Hamline was to preside. 

Our Conference embraced scarcely any field of 
labor which would give us an adequate support. 
The better parts of West Virginia were left with 
the Pittsburg Conference. The preachers who 
were then in the Virginia territory, taken from 
the Ohio Conference, were to be members of it. 
Many of the preachers threatened to refuse ap- 
pointments under the circumstances. Mr. iVdams 



and Mr. Spahr were scarcely able to endure the 
injustice which they believed had been done them. 

Almost as soon as I arrived in the city of Wheel- 
ing, Bishop Hamline sent for me to come to his 
room. He knew me well, and asked for a candid 
statement of the condition of affairs, so far as I 
knew them. I told him the trouble as I under- 
stood it. He asked: 

" What do you think about yourself?" 

Said I : " Bishop, I am broken down in health 
and broken up in purse ; but if you think it nec- 
essary to appoint me to that region again, I will 
leave myself in your hands." 

"A large portion of the Conference are dissat- 
isfied, I learn," he said. 

I answered, u Yes." 

"Who," said he, "are the most likely to be 
bold and fearless in their opposition to this new 
Conference, and whose influence is most likely to 
control a majority of its members?" 

I at once referred to H. Z. Adams ; afterwards 
naming B. N. Spahr, and A. J. Lyda. He said : 

"Will you call to-morrow morning at seven 
o'clock, and bring Brother Adams with you ?" 

I replied, " I will." 

In the two Conferences there was not a nobler, 
braver man than was Brother Adams. The bishop 
met us most kindly. When I introduced Brother 
Adams to him, he scanned him most thoroughly, 
and looking in his face, said : 

" Brother Adams, have you as much religion 
as you had last year?" 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

" No sir, I have n't," replied Mr. Adams. " But 
what I have is of a much better quality." 

" Is there much religion in the Kanawha 
Valley?" asked the bishop. 

" There is not enough to jingle upon a tomb- 
stone," said Mr. Adams. 

" I hope you have not been overcome, Brother 
Adams," said the bishop'. 

Mr. Adams replied : " I have been very near 
fighting, Bishop, a number of times. God never 
made me to stand idly by and see his Church and 
his people and preachers persecuted ! God never 
made me to stand still and witness such scenes 
as we have had here, without an effort to 
make it otherwise. They have persecuted us with 
mobs, and have threatened our lives ; and I can 
not and I will not endure all this, without claim- 
ing and exercising my right of self-defense. If I 
am allowed to defend myself, arid to defend my 
brethren, in all reason, in this territory, you may 
send me to any appointment. I will go if it costs 
me every cent I possess. I will not molest any 
man ; but if any one attempts to assault me, I shall 
choke him down and take the consequence of it." 

I shall never forget the appearance of the 
bishop while that matchless man stood before 
him. He said: 

" Brother Adams, you have the right of self- 

Mr. Adams said : " Bishop, send me to any 
place on this continent, to any appointment, and 
I will go and do the best I can." 



When Mr. Adams left, the bishop requested me 
to remain a moment. I did so, when he said : 

" Brother Fee, that is the noblest man I ever 
beheld. I think I never saw a man for whom I 
have as much admiration. Would he not make a 
good presiding elder?" 

"For this country," I replied, "he would be the 
very man to fill the place of David Reed, when 
his time expires." 

Said he, " I think so." 

The bishop sent him to Guyandotte to fill my 
place ; and without any request on my part, he 
transferred me to Ohio ; offering me at the same 
time, the best appointment in the Conference, if it 
was thought best for me to stay. This change of 
my Conference relations was not in any sense niy 
work, but I shall ever believe it to be in the order 
of God's providence. 

This was the best year of my life. When I 
was in want, a Baptist physician, two hundred 
miles away, sent me a pair of boots. One of my 
own sisters became troubled about me without 
knowing why, and traveled two hundred miles 
to see what the matter was. Her husband 
was a merchant, and she brought from his store 
the very goods I needed. To make me up a com- 
plete outfit, a friend gave me a hat. I received 
one hundred and twenty-five dollars for my serv- 
ices, and lost a horse worth one hundred dollars ; 
paid my own traveling expenses, and was able to 
pay my hotel bills ; just how, I scarcely knew. 
Brother Adams was a chaplain in the army. He 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

died a few years since in California. A hero 
sleeps where he is buried. 

The next session of the Ohio Conference was 
held in Newark, Ohio. Bishop Hamline presided. 
I made no request as to my next appointment. 
The Conference closed, and, to my surprise, I was 
appointed to Augusta Circuit, Kentucky. It was 
in slave territory, and the same terrible state of 
excitement which had surrounded me in West 
Virginia, existed there in all its intensity. It was 
only six miles distant from my native place, Felic- 
ity, Ohio. Within the boundaries of that charge, 
my ancestors, with my great-grandfather, Thomas 
Fee, at their head, removed from Pennsylvania, 
and settled in 1793. My mother was born in Ger- 
mantown, which was embraced in my circuit. A 
large number of relatives, on my father's and 
mother's side, resided within the boundaries of my 
charge, and hundreds of persons with whom I had 
been acquainted in other years. Augusta College, 
my Alma Mater , was located at Augusta. Dr. J. S. 
Tomlinson was then president. He, with the pro- 
fessors, gave me a warm welcome. Many of my 
relatives seemed rejoiced to see me; but others 
stood aloof, and had but few words of welcome or 
kindness with which to greet me. I was from 
Ohio ; that settled the matter with them. The 
appointment was not unwelcome to me by any 

We removed to German town, more than two 
hundred miles distant from Wheeling, by water. 
The Rev. James Savage and his large family gave 



me a cordial greeting. His two sons-in-law, Dr. 
A. Pollock and Dr. Isaac Pollock, with many 
others, stood by me to the very last. With my 
wife I arrived on the charge on Saturday, and 
preached my first sermon on Sabbath. We had 
our little boy, Edmund Janes, our first-born and the 
idol of our hearts, with us. The next day he was 
seized with pneumonia, and in two or three days 
slept in Jesus. We buried him among strangers, 
with only strangers to follow him to the grave and 
to console us in our affliction. We had named 
him after Bishop Janes who had given me the 
hardest appointment I had ever received. To 
demonstrate our love for the bishop we gave 
our boy his name. Afterwards, I named this to 
Bishop Janes. He was much affected by it, and 
remarked : 

" If I had known, when I gave you that ap- 
pointment what it meant, I would never have 
made it." 

I answered : " I am glad you did not know it. 
God was in it, and made it the best year of my 
itinerant life." 

There our little boy will rest until the morning 
of the resurrection. No murmur escaped our lips. 
God wonderfully sustained us. 

We had five appointments on the charge : 
Augusta, Mount Zion, Taylor's, West's, and Ger- 
mantown. John Meek, that noble pioneer preacher, 
of Ohio, was appointed by the presiding elder, John 
F. Wright, as my assistant. .He did noble service, 
and was a great blessing to the people and to me. 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

The people embraced in my charge manifested 
no disposition to persecute me, with only an ex- 
ception here and there. The Reformers, other- 
wise called Disciples, at that time were very nu- 
merous in some parts of the work. They were 
bitterly opposed to experimental religion, as taught 
by the Methodists. 

When I visited Mount Zion Church, just after 
I entered the pulpit on Sabbath, a paper was 
handed to me : " Dear Sir, — Should you attempt 
to occupy this pulpit to-day or hereafter, you will 
be removed by law." This was signed by the 
trustee of the Methodist Church, South. I put it 
in my pocket and paid no attention to it ; and con- 
tinued to preach there until the close of the 

My first revival-meeting was at Germantown. 
I endeavored to keep myself in the love of God, 
and to maintain at all times the spirit of Christ. 
I did not enter into the bitter feeling which pre- 
vailed in regard to the division of the Church. In 
a few days a blessed revival of religion began. 
Many sought Christ and found him to the joy of 
their hearts. The convictions were deep and 
powerful. The principal families in the town 
were represented in this work of grace. Parents 
asked their slaves to come around the altar and 
pray for their young masters and misses. A young 
married man and his wife were found at the 
mourners' bench. They were connected with the 
principal Methodist families. The wife was soon 
converted, but the husband lingered in anguish 



for days. He had been my college-mate, I said 
to him : 

"James, there must be some special obstacle 
in the way, is there not?" 

He said, " I know of nothing." 

"Are you willing to renounce all your sins?" I 

" I am, as far as I know," he replied. 

"Are there any enemies," I inquired, " whom 
you are not willing to forgive, as you hope to be 
forgiven ?" 

He said, " None." 

" Is there any duty which comes up before you, 
which you are unwilling to discharge ?" 

He made no reply. Said I : 

"God helping you, are you willing to pray in 
your family?" 

" I am," he replied, " if God will convert me." 

" Then," said I, " you regard it a duty ?" 

" I do," he answered. 

" Then, are you willing to pray in your family, 
to the best of your ability, whether God converts 
you or not?" 

He answered firmly, " I am, and I will." 

He was instantly and wonderfully converted, 
and soon became a useful class -leader. He has 
gone to his reward, and one of his sons is now a 
prominent traveling preacher in the State of Ken- 
tucky, in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. 
This son wrote to me recently, and subscribed him- 
self, " Your Grandson in the Gospel." 

A man attended our services, but treated 

2 3 8 

Bringing the Sheaves. 

them almost with contempt. Day after day he 
would manifest his want of respect, in some way 
or other, for the work in which we were engaged. 
I felt it my duty to approach him personally and 
converse with him. Said I : 

" You are a believer in the Bible?" 

" I am," he replied. 

"Are you a Christian?" 

" I am not." 

" Do you desire to be ?" 

" I do not." 

" Sir, permit me to ask you, Do you ever in- 
tend to be a Christian ?" 
" I do not, sir." 

" Do you believe there is a heaven and a hell ?" 
"I do." 

" Do you believe that wicked people who en- 
tertain the views you have, will be saved?" 
" I do not." 

"And yet you are going, and thoroughly de- 
termined to go, to perdition ?" 
" I am." 

" Is your mind fully made up?" 
"•It is." 

I then looked him in the face, and said : 
" If that is your purpose, as you express it, I 
have no objection to your going there. God will 
permit you to do so. Heaven will have no place 
for a man of your character and disposition. You 
would be miserable if you were there." 

He turned deadly pale and was silent. I 
left him. 



The next meeting he was present, and seemed 
to be serious. The meeting following, he was 
found among the seekers for salvation, and was 
powerfully converted. 

About this time, a very prominent citizen, a 
Baptist, and the owner of forty slaves, approached 
me. He rudely attacked me: 

" Mr. Fee, you have no business here ! Go 
back to Ohio where you belong. You have no 
right to be an Abolitionist." 

I replied very kindly, and yet fearlessly: " Mr. 
B., I am a citizen of the United States. I was 
born within a few miles of this place. My mother 
was born within a few hundreds yards of the place 
upon which we now stand. I claim the liberty of 
speech and the rights of conscience. I have trie 
right to be an Abolitionist in sentiment, or any 
thing else I please, in a free country like this. 
How ate you, sir, going to prescribe just what I 
shall do, and what I shall think? If you are will- 
ing to avow such a sentiment as that, let me know 
it now.'' 

He was silent, and I went on: 

" If I entertained the most ultra sentiments of 
any man on earth, how are you going to help it? 
I hold myself responsible to the laws and constitu- 
tion of the State of Kentucky. If I violate them, 
punish me." 

He became very humble, and said: 

" Fee, what are your views on the subject of 
slavery ?" 

I replied, " It would have been well, sir, if you 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

had asked me that question first, before you met 

me so roughly." 

He said, " I suppose it would." 

I gave him my views, and he then declared, 

" Why, you are no Abolitionist ! Any man has 

a right to be opposed to slavery. I thought that 

you believed in raising an insurrection among the 


" Never," I replied. "My principles are peace- 
able and constitutional, and in harmony with the 
religion which I preach. I have no private senti- 
ments on the subject of slavery. I believe it to be 
evil, and only evil." 

Said he: "I am very happy I met you, and I 
am not afraid of you. When do you preach here 
again? I must come out and hear you." 

I said, " I shall be pleased to see you, or any- 
body else, in the congregation. 

After that, he was present every time I 
preached, and treated me with every possible 
courtesy and kindness. 

One of those converted at this meeting became 
a minister of the gospel. Some who had united 
with the Church South, returned to the Methodist 
Episcopal Church. 

In the summer the cholera broke out in that 
section of country. There were several sudden 
deaths. I was attacked with the disease ; but by 
prompt treatment, my life was saved. Among 
others, a large, portly, colored local preacher was 
attacked. There was great concern about him. 
He was worth fifteen hundred dollars, and he had 



a high opinion of himself. The physician was 
doing his utmost to save him. He ascribed this 
zeal to the amount of money which was invested 
in him, more than to the value of his life. He 
would take no medicine, and the physician sent 
for me, and begged me to use my influence to in- 
duce him to take the required remedy. But he 
refused ; said he was not sick, and it did not mat- 
ter much whether he lived or died. He was in 
danger every moment of going into a collapse. 
After talking and praying with him, he took the 
medicine and was barely saved. His legal owner 
was an Abolitionist in sentiment, and, by his will, 
made this man and every slave he had free. 

One day I heard a woman scream in a most 
frightful manner. Two men in a buggy had her 
babe, one year old, in their arms. They were 
driving toward Maysville. They had bought her 
child, and were taking it to Missouri. She ran 
after them with all her might, and screamed until 
I heard her voice no longer. No wonder that Mr. 
Jefferson said, "I tremble when I remember that 
God is just." Public opinion bitterly denounced 
the conduct of these men. 

I also held revival-meetings at Taylor's ap- 
pointment, and at Mount Zion Church. At both 
places the meetings were successful. A series of 
meetings at Augusta resulted in a great revival of 
religion among my old friends. Many of the stu- 
dents were converted, and united with the Church. 
I had the pleasure of introducing several of the 
students into the Christian ministry. 



Bringing the Sheaves. 

It was charged by the public press of Ken- 
tucky, and many who were prominent in Church 
and State, that the Augusta College was an Aboli- 
tion institution; that its talented president was 
one of the most influential Abolitionists in the 
land; and that it was run in the interest of anti- 
slavery principles. A memorial was drawn up, 
requesting the Kentucky Legislature to repeal the 
charter of the institution on that ground. Every- 
thing that hatred and vindictiveness could do was 
done to poison the minds of the legislators of the 
State. Suffice it to say, these efforts were success- 
ful. The charter was repealed, and an institution 
which had done more good than any other in the 
State was branded with infamy, as far as could 
be done, and it virtually ceased to be a college. I 
was with Dr. Tomlinson in his room when the 
news arrived. He calmly remarked: " This is an- 
other nail driven into the coffin of slavery, the de- 
fenders of which will be satisfied with nothing less 
than the submission of the Government to the dic- 
tates of the vilest system of oppression upon which 
the sun ever looked. " 

Up to this time our ministers had respected 
what was called " The Plan of Separation." Per- 
sonally, I never believed in it, and determined 
never to respect it. If there was any call for me 
to go beyond the limits assigned by "The Plan of 
Separation," I would go; allowing members of the 
Church South to invade our territory, at the request 
of the people in the North, if they saw proper to 
do so. 



At our third quarterly-meeting, held by John 
F. Wright, of Cincinnati, the presiding elder, two 
gentlemen from the interior of Kentucky, Har- 
rison County, were present. They claimed to 
represent some eight persons who were members 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and had, for 
more than four years, refused to affiliate with the 
Church South, one of the members being a local 
elder. They desired to be recognized as members 
of the Church with which they first united, and 
which they had never left. They stated that they 
had been persecuted and abused for four years 
past. Under the circumstances, they determined 
to await results, believing that the time of deliver- 
ance would come. 

The local elder had been very ill, and it was 
thought that he could live but a little while. 
He sent an earnest request that he might be recog- 
nized, and that the little band might be taken 
under the wing of the Augusta Circuit. They 
begged me to visit them just as soon as I could in- 
vestigate the case, and, if possible, take' them into 
my charge. 

The Quarterly Conference unanimously voted 
that I should, as soon as possible, visit them, and 
take such course as I might deem best. As the 
appointment was fifty miles distant, a prominent 
gentleman present agreed to accompany me, as 
they feared that I might be in danger if I went 
alone. We fixed the time, and the two gentlemen, 
Mr. Wheeler and Mr. Rose, left, with unbounded 
gratitude, for the section they had named. These 


Bringing thk Shkayks. 

men appeared to be honest and true, and I had 
faith in them. Some said, however, that it was 
only a trap set for me ; and if I visited the place 
I would be seized, as others had been, and treated 
with cruelty. . I believed it to be my duty to go, 
and run all risks, and I never hesitated a moment. 

A short time after this, some sixty slaves 
escaped in a body from Lexington, Kentucky, and 
attempted to go to Ohio. Some of them en- 
deavored to pass through my circuit ; but were all 
caught and returned to slavery. The excitement 
was intense. As long as I was in the region of 
country where I was known, there was no danger; 
but in a strange part of the country I was liable 
to an arrest. My friends begged me not to think 
of going. The gentleman who proposed to ac- 
company me, at the last moment declined, but 
loaned me his horse, and gave me some direc- 
tions — such as he was able to give. I was to 
make the trip in one day. I determined not to 
halt at any hotel on the way, for this might lead 
me into difficulty. I would take the public road, 
and go at once to the place. 

I left as the day dawned. It was a very warm 
day. I fed my horse, and ate my lunch in the 
woods by the roadside. Five o'clock in the after- 
noon came, and I was exceedingly w r eak and hungry; 
but I had not been molested. I had reached a 
point in the vicinity of the place, as I supposed, 
but could hear nothing of these two men. All my 
inquiries were in vain. I traveled on, however, 
in what I supposed to be the direction in which 



tliey lived. I met a man, perhaps an hour after- 
wards, who informed me that two such men lived 
in the woods about two 01 three miles distant, giving 
me such direction as would enable me to reach their 
residence, I traveled on a mile and a half at 
least, when, in the distance, I beheld two men sit- 
ting on a fence, and looking toward me. As I rode 
up, they scanned me eagerly. When I drew near 
them, they sprang from the fence and ran to 
where I was, and, one on each side of my horse, 
caught me by my arms. It was Mr. Wheeler and 
Mr. Rose. Tears of joy were streaming down their 
faces, and they exclaimed : 

"O, you have come; you have come! Our 
enemies said you dared not, and yet here you 

They now saw that I was overcome by fatigue, 
and one of them led the horse by the bridle, 
and the other ran to let the people know that I 
was coming. Soon we reached the house of the 
man who was with me. He lived in a cabin, in 
front of which was a beautiful grove of young 
sugar-trees. I was almost ready to faint from 
fatigue and hunger. He lifted me off my horse, 
and buckled the bridle around a beautiful sugar- 
tree, and then almost carried me into the house. 
The lady of the house approached me, saying: 

" Dear young man, you look as if you were 
almost fainting. They have prepared a place for 
you to lie down." 

I lay down, while she ran into the kitchen to 
prepare my supper. 


Bringing the Shkavks. 

She returned, and said, 
"And all this for us poor people here !" 
"OP' I said, "I have only done my duty ; say 
no more." 

What a supper we had ! I felt as if the Lord 
Jesus was there, and I was repaid for the long 
journey I had taken. They treated me royally. 

At nine o'clock the next morning there was a 
love-feast, the first that had been held for many 
years in that neighborhood. It was in a new 
hewed-log house, which had not yet been occu- 
pied by Mr. Rose, the owner. At nine o'clock 
a large number were present, and they were over- 
joyed to see me. I read the twenty-third Psalm, 
and then announced the hymn, — 

"And are we yet alive, 

And see each other's face? 
Glory and praise to Jesus give, 
For his redeeming grace." 

When I concluded, the feeling became so intense, 
and the rejoicing so great, although no prayer had 
been offered, that my voice was drowned; and, 
amid the shouts and rejoicing of this happy peo- 
ple, a number of sinners were brought under con- 
viction, and were converted. 

At eleven o'clock we assembled in a grove near 
by, where a rude pulpit and seats had been con- 
structed for the accommodation of the congrega- 
tion. I suppose that one thousand people were 
present. I preached upon the subject of " Christ 
Crucified," and the Lord evidently was with us. 
At three o'clock in the afternoon I held another 



meeting, and organized a Church of thirty-seven 
members, formally receiving them as a part of 
Augusta Circuit under my pastoral charge. I was 
requested that day to administer the ordinance of 
baptism to children, which I did. The first pre- 
sented to me was a boy. When I said, "Name 
this child," they said, "William Fee." This greatly 
surprised and embarrassed me. The next was 
named " Ingram Fee." I baptized that day twenty 
in all, and I think about one dozen of them bore 
my humble name. 

I visited the local elder that evening. He was 
lying in his bed, and when I took him by the hand, 
he said: 

" You are welcome. God bless you ! Have you 
organized the society?" 
"I have." 

"Is it recognized as a society of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church on Augusta Circuit? Am I 
recognized as a local elder in the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church of the United States of America?" 

I answered, "You are." 

"Then," said he, "I die contented." 

He shouted and praised God until he could no 
longer speak. A few days after this, in holy 
triumph, he closed his eyes on earth to open 
them in heaven. Thus died Mr. Geoghegan, a 
noble specimen of an intelligent gentleman, a 
Christian, and a hero. He had been an infidel 
until 1801. He told me that he was induced, out 
of mere curiosity, to attend the celebrated Cane 
Ridge Camp-meeting, at which there must have 


BringinCx the Sheaves. 

been twenty thousand people present. As he 
came into the audience, he beheld members of the 
Presbyterian, Baptist, Episcopal, and Methodist 
Churches around the communion-table. They 
were all in tears. They were celebrating the death 
and suffering of theii Savior. "I had opposed 
Christianity before," he said, " because of the 
division and bitterness of the Churches. But this 
scene was to me very weakening. I knew I could 
not endure it- if I remained. Hundreds of people 
were falling as if they were dead, in all directions. 
I knew that I could not endure the scene any longer, 
and, to save myself, I must return home. With 
great difficulty I mounted my horse. My strength 
was giving way. I rode about one-eighth of a 
mile, when I suddenly fell from my horse, unable 
to move. There I remained until I renounced my 
infidelity, and was happily converted to God. For 
forty-four years I have been a minister of the 

Four weeks after this I visited this people 
again, and on Sabbath morning at eleven o'clock 
preached the funeral sermon of Mr. Geoghegan. 
It was preached to nearly two thousand people. 
A number of the members of my charge were with 
me at this appointment. A great revival spirit per- 
vaded the meeting, and a society of thirty-seven 
was increased to seventy-five, as I remember. The 
Conference year closed, and this society, with 
other places around it, was constituted a new 
charge, and I. Beall appointed to it. From this 
place the work spread in almost every direction. 



I was afterwards invited to return to see those 
people; but thirty-nine years passed before I had 
the privilege. At the request of Amos Shinkle, of 
Covington, Kentucky, I finally paid them a visit. 
The Covington District was holding a district- 
meeting there, with Charles J. Howes as presiding 
elder. When I reached the place, there was noth- 
ing familiar about it. There was a large church, 
which I was told cost four thousand dollars, and a 
membership of at least three hundred, occupying 
the place where I had preached thirty-nine years 
before. Soon after my arrival, two gray-headed 
men approached me, and said : 

" You do n't remember us, but we remember 
you. We were both named for you on the day you 
baptized us, and we are now stewards of this 
Church. Will you walk with us out into the 
cemetery ?" 

When just inside, with one on each side of me, 
we walked to two graves. Said one : 

"This is the grave of my father; and here, by 
his side, rests my mother. They entertained you 
when you came, a stranger, weary and faint, to 
their house." 

On one headstone was inscribed, "Blessed are 
the dead who die in the Lord !" On the other, "I 
am the resurrection and the life !" Then we 
walked to another place, where the remains of Mr. 
Rose and his wife lay, side by side. There were 
appropriate inscriptions on the headstones. We 
stood by their graves, and remembered that "They 
rest from their labors, and their works follow them." 

250 Bringing the Sheaves. 

Then Mr. Wheeler took me by the arm, and led 
me to a beautiful building painted white, by a 
beautiful grove, on an elevated piece of ground. 
Said he : 

" Do you remember this?" 

I said, " No." 

"This," said he, "is the grove you saw when it 
consisted of only small trees; when you were en- 
tertained at our house. You see that tree, straight 
as an arrow, with the top off, and those large 
branches ? That is the tree to which you hitched 
your horse when you were nearly fainting, and had 
to be helped into the house. When father was 
dying, some years ago, after taking his leave of 
mother and all of his children, he said to me: 
* Now, my son, there is one more charge I will 
name. You remember that tree where Mr. Fee 
hitched his horse ? I want you to take good care 
of it, and if you ever have the opportunity, show 
it to Brother Fee, and tell him that that is a monu- 
ment of my gratitude to him, and of the loving re- 
membrance in which we hold him for his self-sac- 
rificing labors for us when our friends seemed to 
have forsaken us.' This was his last charge, when 
he died." 

This tree, as far as I know, stands there to-day, 
a living monument of the love of those to whom 
it was my privilege to preach. 

About the time I entered the college, I became 
familiar with the character and history of several 


persons mentioned in this narrative. A Mr. V. 
had been, for many years, the janitor of the in- 
stitution. All about the college were familiar 
with him. He was poor, but had a spotless repu- 
tation. He was not only honest, but was regarded 
as a true Christian. He was respected and loved 
as men seldom are. He was very useful in the 
Church, and the pastor and steward confided in 
him fully. 

One day Dr. Bascom missed his pocket-book, 
which contained valuable papers and a considerable 
amount of money. He supposed that he had left it 
in his room ; and as this was in charge of the jan- 
itor, it became quite evident that the janitor must 
have found it. He was approached, but utterly de- 
nied it, and scorned such an imputation. He was 
arrested, as I remember; but the evidence was only 
circumstantial, and he was acquitted. The matter 
came before the Church, and such was now the 
prejudice against him that he lost his enviable 
standing. He was dismissed from the college, 
and was almost friendless. He would still visit 
the Church services, all the while protesting his 
innocence, and saying that God would vindicate 
him sooner or later. His heart was almost 
broken. His case was a pitiable one, but God 
did not forsake him. 

A short time after this, Commencement-day 
arrived. A number of young men received the 
honors of the institution. Brilliant graduating 
addresses were made. A Mr. A., from a distant 
State, especially distinguished himself, and re- 

252 Bringing the Sheaves. 

ceived the plaudits of the vast concourse of people 
present. The same evening he left on a steamer 
for his distant home. Some hours afterwards he 
was seen on the hurricane-deck of the steamer, 
walking backward and forward, hurriedly. A few 
moments after this the boiler exploded, and he 
was seen no more. A trunk was left on the boat, 
which was not claimed by any one. After re- 
maining there for days — for the boat went on its 
course — the officers of the boat unlocked it and 
examined its contents. It was Mr. A's. trunk. 
In it was found a pocket-book, which, on exami- 
nation, proved to be the one lost by Dr. Bascom. 
They not only found the papers unharmed, but the 
very money which he had lost. It was at once 
sent to Augusta. 

The reader may imagine the overwhelming joy 
which filled the hearts of Mr. V. and his wife, 
and the universal joy it gave all who knew him, to 
learn that no stain rested upon his unblemished 
reputation. " Weeping may endure for a night, 
but joy cometh in the morning." He was at once 
restored to his position in the college and his 
standing in the Church. He was a member of 
my pastoral charge. I had known him for years, 
and he not only had my confidence, but my 
warmest Christian love. He could never speak of 
this trial without weeping profusely, and magnify- 
ing the grace of God which had sustained him in 
the trial, and delivered him from it so strangely. 

The young man found a watery grave, and his 
remains were never recovered. These facts I have 



stated frankly, because they were familiar to me 
and to hundreds of others. Never be hasty in 
condemning any man, more especially one whose 
life is blameless, and who has always stood above 
reproach. God will vindicate the innocent, if the 
community should denounce and condemn them. 


After I became a member of the Senior class, 
we sat, during the morning prayer, immediately in 
front of the rostrum. One morning, Dr. Bascom 
led the devotions, and made a prayer of wonderful 
power. A young man from Louisiana was sitting 
by my side. He was the son of General R., 
widely known in the South and universally re- 
spected. We kneeled together during the prayer, 
and the young man prayed most fervently. This 
surprised me, for he was very wicked. Only a few 
days before, he had had a very serious altercation 
with a young man from Virginia. They had 
mutually threatened each other. The Virginian 
was also present, sitting within a few feet of us. 

When we arose from our kneeling position, as 
quick as thought, they faced each other with 
drawn pistols. Both pistols failed to go off. They 
were drawn within three feet of their foreheads. 
We at once seized them and took the pistols away. 
They then drew bowie-knives — most frightful- 
looking weapons — and each sought to take the life 
of the other. These were taken away, and they 
clinched, when a bitter fight ensued. 

So enraged were these young men that they 


BringinCx the Sheaves. 

had to be guarded for several days, lest they carry 
out their deadly purpose. They finally quieted 
down, however. 

Shortly after this a revival of religion broke 
out, and these young men attended. Young R. 
became deeply convicted of sin. He sought for 
pardon for days, but in vain. One night, about 
two o'clock, he left his room, convinced that he 
must be reconciled to his deadly enemy. He 
aroused the Virginian, and said to him : 

" W., I have been a great sinner. I have asked 
God's pardon, and now ask yours. Will you 
grant it?" 

The Virginian exclaimed, " O yes !" 

They threw their arms around each other, and 
R. was powerfully converted. The last I heard of 
him he was preaching the gospel in Louisiana. 
There is mercy for the chief of sinners. 


At the Conference session in 1849, the bishop 
appointed me to West Union Circuit, Adams 
County, Ohio. My last three charges were in 
three different States — Virginia, Kentucky, and 
Ohio. I was truly a traveling preacher. I re- 
moved to West Union, the county-seat of Adams 
County, from Germantown, Kentucky, my former 
residence. It was only thirty-three miles away — a 
short move. We found a pleasant parsonage, and 
a kind reception. John F. Wright was my pre- 
siding elder. This delighted me, for he was a 
father to us. In his character he was the very 

West Union. 

2 55 

personification of love. When I looked at his 
pure, sweet face, I always thought of St. John 
the divine. He' was in deep sympathy with me in 
all my work. 

West Union contained, at that time, about four 
hundred inhabitants. It was one of the oldest 
circuits in Ohio. Here had been James Quinn, 
James B. Finley, Benj. Uakin, Henry B. Bascom^ 
William H. Raper, Michael Marlay, R. S. Foster 
(now bishop), J. W. Clarke, and many other he- 
roes of the Methodist Episcopal Church, whose 
sacrifices and labors are interwoven with the his- 
tory of Ohio. To enter into the labors of these 
men was to me a great cross ; and yet it was an 
honor more than I deserved. 

There were seven appointments on the circuit 
to be filled in two weeks. I had no horse, having 
lost mine ; and as I was not able to buy another, 
I was compelled to walk to most of my appoint- 
ments. Occasionally a friend would loan me a 
horse. The country was hilly and the roads bad 
for the most part ; but I did not have the spirit of 
complaint, for I had left the "border war " behind 
me, and there was here no strife, no bitterness. A 
German Methodist Episcopal Church was located 
on the circuit. This was a great blessing to me. 
I was delighted with my appointment, and began 
at once to visit places and labor for a revival of 
religion at every appointment on the circuit. 

Soon after my arrival I received a letter from 
my presiding elder, stating that Bishop Morris had 
determined to send four missionaries to California, 


Bringing thk Shkaves. 

and that he had selected me as one of them. It 
was in the beginning of the gold excitement. I 
was requested to take the matter under consider- 
ation, and to decide as soon as I could whether I 
would accept the appointment. I was still suffer- 
ing from the effects of ague at times. I was 
unable to get it out of my system. After con- 
sulting physicians and my friends, it was their 
unanimous opinion that I would not be able to 
endure this work. I greatly regretted then, and 
ever since, the necessity of declining that appoint- 
ment; for I had been, and am still, a missionary 
in spirit. It was my ambition to go to some distant 
point and preach the unsearchable riches of Christ. 

Having dismissed the subject as far as I could, 
I began my work in earnest. One day I said to 
Mrs. Fee : 

" My work is important ; I must commence at 
once. We must get acquainted with this people. 
Although you may regard it as out of order or a 
breach of etiquette, if you are willing, we will call 
on the people whether they call on us or not." 

She timidly consented. We intended to com- 
mence with one of the families of our charge. 
When we called at their door, as I thought, I found 
that we had mistaken the house. The lady who 
met us, however, was most cordial, recognized us, 
and thanked us for coming, and invited us into the 
parlor. We were pleased to accept the invitation. 
She said she had heard me preach on the previous 
Sabbath, and, although not a Christian, she was 
greatly pleased and impressed, and would like to 

West Union. 


attend our services while I was there. We at once 
became friends. A short time after this she was 
converted, and in less than one year died of chol- 
era, in great peace, and went to her reward. She 
always attributed her conversion to God to our 
call as the instrument. 

We continued to visit, and were everywhere 
received with greatest kindness, and treated with 
much consideration. This brought us at once 
into sympathy with our entire congregation and 
many others. We found many of the families of 
pioneer Methodists of Southern Ohio, though 
somewhat broken, still residing in West Union and 
the vicinity. 

I became very anxious to witness a revival of 
religion in West Union. It was the county-seat, 
and the influences were rather adverse to the pros- 
perity of religion. A young, lawyer, whom I had 
known some years before, and who was the son of 
a prominent pioneer Methodist preacher, resided in 
the town. He was not a member of any Church, 
and was an unmerciful critic. He professed to be 
moral in his character and conduct, and I supposed 
him to be a model of morality. One day I stepped 
into one of the county offices, and was startled to 
behold the young lawyer and a number of others 
sitting around a table with cards in their hands and 
piles of money before them, violating not only the 
statutes of Ohio, but the rules of common morality. 
Their surprise was complete and their mortification 
excessive. The young lawyer said to me, 

" You are surprised. 


258 Bringing the Sheaves. 

" I am," I replied. 

"You seem stunned." 

" I suppose I do, for I am stunned." 

"Why, you look awful," he exclaimed. 

" I feel so," I answered. 

Smiling, he said, "I would like to know why?" 

I replied : " When I see the son of an old and 
honored Methodist minister, the son of a devoted, 
godly mother, who but recently sat by her bedside 
as she was dying, and, as I learn, when she kissed 
him for the last time and said, ' My son, my only 
son, will you promise your dying mother to be a 
Christian and meet her in heaven?' and with a 
firm and resolute voice, but with a breaking heart 
he said, 'Dear mother, I will' — this is what ap- 
palls me, when I see him engaged in such an ex- 
ercise as this." 

I said this in a tearful, loving spirit, and the 
tears came to his eyes and to the eyes of the men 
who sat with him around the table. I left them, 
supposing that I had incurred their displeasure, 
probably to the end of life. But I had done my 
duty as I understood it. 

Soon after this our quarterly-meeting was to be 
held, and many adverse influences arose to pre- 
vent its success. An invitation to a public ball 
was sent me. It was presented in person by the 
clerk of the principal hotel in the town, the pro- 
prietor of which was a Jew. He evidently in- 
tended to show his contempt for the Christian 
religion, and to break the force of the levival effort 
which I was about to make, and, if possible, create 

West Union. 


a sensation and make all the money he could out 
of it. I said to him, 

"So far as I know, I shall accept your invita- 
tion and be present." 

He looked very much surprised, and politely 
left the room. The landlord had been busy circu- 
lating the fact that he invited the preacher, and 
was waiting for the amusement it would bring ; 
but when the clerk reported to him that I had, 
very seriously and politely, accepted the invitation 
without a word, he did not know how to take it. 
In a few days the clerk returned, and said, 

" Did I understand you formally to accept the 
invitation extended to you?" 

"Most certainly," I replied. 

"Then you will attend?" 

"As far as I know, I will be there," was my 

He evidently was surprised and troubled. At 
last he said, 

" You know, I suppose, the nature of a ball." 

"O yes," I replied. 

"What would you do?" he asked. 

I said : "You know that I am a minister, and 
the invitation is addressed to me as such. Cer- 
tainly the proprietor would not expect me to act 
otherwise than as becomes the profession which I 

He left, but returned soon after, greatly per- 
plexed, as was the proprietor, who disclaimed any 
intention to insult me, and tried to turn the whole 
matter into a joke, and desired me so to consider it. 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

I told him I could not do that. He then begged 
almost piteously for me not to come. I replied 
that if the invitation was formally withdrawn, I 
would, of course, not go. He was only too glad to 
withdraw it. 

The news went all over the town and country ; 
not to my injury, but to the injury of the landlord. 
The people were indignant, and those who ex- 
pected to participate in the dance declined to 
attend. It was found that not one of the ladies in 
the town would be present. But they secured the 
promise of some eight young ladies on the river, 
who accepted invitations. A week or two after 
this, I held a meeting in the neighborhood in 
which those young ladies lived, and every one of 
them was converted and united with the Church. 
Word was sent at once that Fee had played the 
mischief, and that these ladies would not attend 
the ball. Some time after this the landlord broke 
up, and was sold out under the hammer, and had 
to quit the business. 


A quarterly-meeting was held in West Union. 
We were praying and looking for success. I did 
all I could to make it such. I depended upon 
God, without whose help I had no hope. It began 
in the Spirit of Christ, and soon a great revival in- 
fluence pervaded the town. 

The prominent young lawyer, the son of the 
Methodist minister, with whom I had so faithfully 
conversed a short time before, was one of the first 

Wkst Union. 


subjects of the work. He had made, previously, 
a most gentlemanly apology to me, and had ex- 
pressed his determination to abandon card-playing 
forever. Two of his nieces were happily con- 
verted to God. A large number of others found 
Christ, and there was great joy in West Union. 

The young lawyer was distinguished in his 
profession, became a judge of the court, and 
finally a member of the General Conference of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. He died a few years 
since, lamented by all who knew him. His end 
was peaceful. 

During the revival a very prominent young 
lady was seeking Christ. She received great 
comfort, but was not satisfied, inasmuch as 
she had not been blessed as others who were 
seeking, with her, the pearl of great price. A 
German lady was kneeling by her, and told 
her that she was like a little child whose 
mother had given it a piece of bread, «and because 
it was not as large as the pieces given the other 
children, would not receive it. " Now," said she, 
" if God only gives you one piece of the ' Bread of 
Life,' it is more than you deserve, and you ought 
to be grateful for it, and then ask for more." She 
did this, and was wonderfully blessed. The next 
year the cholera swept that town, and she was one 
of its first victims. With only two hours' warning, 
she died a most triumphant death. 

An educated German, a young man who had 
left Bavaria but a few months before, and whose 
father was a minister and a chaplain to the king 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

at Bavaria, was also powerfully converted. He 
was called to preach, and was a most able minister 
among the German Methodists for many years. 


My next meeting was held at Duncansville. 
This region was inhabited mostly by emigrants 
from Ireland. They were educated and refined 
people. Many of them had been Methodists in 
the old country, and were most exemplary and 
useful Christians. They labored with me in the 
meeting most effectually. 

William McNeiland was the most prominent 
member at that place. He was an exhorter. He 
had four sons and two daughters who were uncon- 
verted. I expressed the hope that they would be 
converted during the meeting. He said : 

" I hope so ; unless it be Sam, my oldest son. 
He does not need conversion. He never disobeyed 
me, nor told me a falsehood, nor committed any 
sins, so far as I know, and he does not need it." 

I replied: "Brother McNeiland, there are sins 
of the heart as well as of the life, and I doubt 
not your son, blameless as he is, has committed 
numerous sins against God, which never came to 
the light." 

"You may think so," he replied; " but I believe 
you are entirely mistaken." 

The very first to come to the altar for prayer 
was Sam, all broken up. He believed himself not 
only a sinner, but a lost sinner, and wept and 
prayed for mercy. His father was astounded. 

Wkst Union. 


Sam had been blameless all his life, and now he 
wept and prayed as if he were the greatest sinner 
in the world. Almost every one who heard the 
plaintive cries of this young man was moved to 

In about one hour after having confessed his 
numerous sins, and having surrendered himself 
fully to God, he was converted. His brothers and 
sister also found Jesus, and the happiest family in 
that country was Brother McNeiland's. Sam became 
a model Christian, and his life was a beautiful one. 
In one year from that time God took him, and I 
preached his funeral sermon to a large congrega- 
tion. The partiality of parents for children often 
covers up the sins they have committed; their 
children are no exception to the masses of human- 
ity. "Ye must be born again," applies to them 
as well as to others. 

James, another son, was soon called of God to 
preach, and has been a traveling minister for a 
number of years; an honor to his father, and a 
blessing to the Church. 

My next meeting was at Stone Chapel. The 
society was made up of very good people ; but, un- 
fortunately, division had crept in, and for years 
they had seemed to be a spiritless organization. 
God began to work in the hearts of sinners early 
in the meeting; but many of the members of the 
Church stood aloof. I saw the difficulty, and told 
them, honestly, that these difficulties must be re- 

264 Bringing the Sheaves. 

moved before we could expect signal answer to 
prayer. I said: 

"Let everybody kneel humbly before the Lord. 
I will not ask anybody to pray vocally; let each, 
in silence, present his own case and the case of 
others before God, and we must not rise until 
God answers." 

It was a most solemn hour. Whispers of prayer 
were heard in every part of the congregation. Con- 
fessions were being audibly made. They began to 
pray aloud for God's blessing and forgiving grace, 
and his blessing upon the congregation. At last, 
almost every one, with clasped hands, was looking 

At this moment I called upon Brother McNei- 
land to pray. The prayer was wonderful. He 
was talking with God, and praying for himself and 
for all; and for the immediate descent of the Holy 
Spirit. Soon a strange influence fell upon the con- 
gregation. It was like an electric shock. He and 
almost everybody instantly arose to their feet, and 
began to pray to God aloud. Those who had stood 
aloof for years from each other, were now embrac- 
ing each other in the arms of Christian love and 
affection. Every seeker at the altar, at the same in- 
stant, was converted. One lady, holding her child 
about a year old in her arms, threw it into the lap of 
her mother, seven or eight feet distant, who caught 
it, when she too began to praise the Lord, and 
threw the child into the arms of another lady. It 
was not injured. The influence of this meeting 
was felt all over the circuit. 

West Union. 



This was the place of my next revival-meeting. 
For years the society here had been well-nigh de- 
moralized by internal divisions. It was a very hard 
field, and gave little promise of any good being 
done. I labored almost one week without any ap- 
parent success. The first to manifest any signs of 
penitence was a poor boy, ten years of age. He 
kneeled at the altar and professed conversion. 
This only excited ridicule and contempt among 
many whose names were recorded on the Church- 
book; they felt disgraced. The next evening the 
boy returned, and brought with him a brother, 
older than himself, aged twelve, and at once led 
him forward to the altar. He, too, was converted. 
The next evening the two brothers brought with 
them an older brother, fourteen years of age. He, 
too, came to the altar and found Christ. The next 
night the three brought their oldest brother, who 
was sixteen years of age, and he was converted. 

No others, up to this time, were forward; but 
the congregation was deeply impressed. The next 
night the brothers brought two sisters, older than 
themselves, and they came forward for prayer; 
and, after a time, were happily converted. The 
interest deepened. The following night, which 
was Saturday, they brought their father and mother 
with them, and led them to the altar. Their six 
children gathered about them to pray for them 
until they were converted; and these eight persons, 
like Noah and his family, were in the "ark of 
safety." The next morning it was my privilege to 


Bringing the Shkaves. 

baptize them all, as they kneeled around the altar. 
The scene was one of strange impressiveness. We 
had a blessed revival at this place. 


There were only twenty members at this ap- 
pointment. For twenty years they had stood by 
the cause. This society was made up of noble 
families, but their children were unsaved. They 
worshiped in a small hewed-log edifice, that had 
never been daubed, and in the winter time the 
cold was insufferable. For months I had prayed 
for a revival at this appointment, and finally be- 
lieved that God had answered my prayers, and at 
the first meeting I told them so, perhaps unwisely. 

The first day everything was hopeful; but on 
the next day it began to grow cold, and when 
Monday morning came we found it next to impos- 
sible to endure the cold. On this account the 
members gathered around me, and told me that 
we must abandon the meeting. I, however, held a 
brief service, and then came one of the greatest 
trials of my ministerial life. 

I was as confident that God had answered my 
prayers, and that there would be, at this meeting, 
a great revival of religion, as I was that God had 
converted me; and if the meeting closed, as sug- 
gested, my prayers and my faith would be in vain. 
To my mind it appeared to involve the genuine- 
ness of my conversion and the truth of the Chris- 
tian religion. There was, for the moment, an eclipse 
of my faith. I could not think of one promise ; 

West Union. 


there was not one ray of hope. I had just told 
the people that in all I had said to them, I was 
honest and sincere, and that I was in a position 
that I never occupied before, and which was to me 
the profound distress of my life. I saw no promise. 
There appeared to be no basis for hope. I was 
about to pronounce the benediction, when I felt a 
strange resistance, and I said, "I can trust God 
without a promise;" and the thought struck me 
that if one soul would agree to seek God that day, 
I would hold the meeting during the week, if my 
life was spared, no matter what it cost or what 
might be involved. I then gave the invitation. 
One young lady — the most promising young lady 
in the neighborhood — arose and came forward; an- 
other followed, and others, until eight young ladies 
stood upon the floor and expressed their determina- 
tion to seek God. They and two others united 
with the Church on probation. The effect was 

Mr. Drennan, the leading member of the society, 
arose, and with the deepest emotion, said : " This 
church is too cold to hold meeting, but I have a 
large parlor, newly-furnished. It will hold as many 
people as this church. Four of my daughters have 
joined the Church to-day, and I invite you all to 
hold meeting in my parlor. I believe that God 
will convert my children." 

That night ten were converted, four of whom 
were his daughters. A great revival pervaded the 
entire community, and many were brought to 
Christ. My faith was vindicated, and from then 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

until now I glorify God, who has always been 
true and faithful to his promises. 

A few months after this, Judge Collings, the 
judge of the Court of Common Pleas in that dis- 
trict, removed to the neighborhood. Although not 
a Christian, he became deeply impressed with the 
need of Christ, and urged the members of the 
congregation at that point to build a new church, 
which they did. On the day of the dedication 
of the church, Judge Collings and his family 
united with the Methodist Episcopal Church. He 
was afterwards licensed to preach, and became a 
power for good through all that region of country. 
He died some years since, leaving behind him a 
noble Christian family, who reverence his memory, 
and, with thousands of others, thank God that they 
had before them such an example. His son Henry, 
a most noble man, occupied his father's place on 
the bench, commanding the respect of all who 
knew him. " The time of our extremity is God's 

I held revival-meeting at Bentonville and at 
Connell's appointment. At both places we had 
great revivals. Although my labors were abun- 
dant, and I was often weak in body as I walked 
up and down the hills and vales, I was very 
happy. The Rev. John Welch, an Englishman, 
assisted me. He was a promising young man, 
and was quite useful. He afterwards joined one 
of the Indiana Conferences. 

At the close of the year I had nothing to regret. 
I had done what I could, as I saw it. 

West Union. 



Our dear little boy, Charles Francis, our only 
living child, became very ill. All that united power 
could do was done to save his life. Living friends 
were with us, and their tears of sympathy and the 
grace of God enabled us to resign our darling child 
to Him who gave him. In a short time he died. 
We were among strangers. No relative was pres- 
ent with us. My father resided some fifty miles 
distant. Mrs. Fee and myself, one bright morning, 
took his remains in a carriage to Maysville, Ken- 
tucky. We then traveled on steamer to Chilo. We 
took him in a carriage from the river to my fath- 
er's house, and gave them the first knowledge that 
our little boy was nO more. We buried him in 
Hopewell Cemetery, among my kindred and 
friends. We then visited our friends in Zanesville. 

Several hundred souls were converted at West 
Union appointment. The next year the cholera 
swept the village, and almost one-fourth of its in- 
habitants died. Many of the subjects of the revi- 
val of the previous year were among them, and 
these all died in the faith. 

The Conference for 1850 met in Chillicothe, 
Bishop Janes presiding. I was appointed to Rip- 
ley Station, on the Ohio River, succeeding Jona- 
than F. Conrey. John F. Wright was presiding 
elder. I was quite well acquainted with the people, 
and our appointment met with universal favor. I 
began my labors under the most favorable aus- 
pices. It was then one of our strongest charges, 
made up of the very best class of citizens. There 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

were Archibald L,eggett, Esq., John Walkington, 
John Benington, Father Easton, John T. Madox, 
Colonel Grantham, Campbell Howard, John Allen, 
A. Bell Chambers, David Gaddis, Sam. Gaddis, 
A. J. Stivers, William Gaddis, Rev. J. R. Crozier, 
J. S. Beasly, Jesse Bloom, A. Bloom, A. Hensley, 
Harvey Palmer, Peter Shaw, and many others, 
whom I have not space to mention. 

The Church had risen from poverty and ob- 
scurity to great prominence. At first, there were 
only two or three Methodists in the town. John 
Walkington, a young man in his teens, landed 
there from England. He was a stranger, and in 
loneliness walked the streets. A plain man was 
driving a cart along the street, and singing, " O 
how happy are they who their Savior obey," etc. 
Young Walkington recognized the song ; and as he 
had been a Methodist in England, and had longed 
for the fellowship of God's children, he ran after 
the cart, and climbed upon it, and sat by the side 
of Father Mitchell, who was driving it. The 
young man said, 

"Are you a Methodist?" 

Father Mitchell replied, "Yes; and there are 
but one or two other Methodists in town." 

"J am a Methodist/ 1 said the young man. 

Father Mitchell took him in his arms, and 
invited him to his house ; and that night they had 
a prayer- meeting, and God wonderfully blessed 
them. This was the beginning of good days. 
Frederick Butler was on the circuit, and held a 
meeting there, assisted by Thomas Lynch, who 



died a few years ago in Indiana. Brother Lynch 
was a powerful exhorter, and his exhortations 
moved all who heard him. Brother Butler was a 
plain, godly man. He prayed that God would 
convert some citizen who had a stable, in order 
that his horse might have accommodation as well 
as himself. A number of houses were open to 
him. From then until now Methodism has had a 
home in Ripley. It has one of the largest church 
edifices in Southern Ohio. 

A prominent member at this time was Jacob 
Baker, a fellow-student of mine when I was at 
Augusta College. He was a consecrated young 
man, and one of the most beautiful singers I ever 
heard. Bishop Hamline once said that he thought 
he was one of the sweetest singers out of heaven. 
Just after his conversion he arose in the congre- 
gation and sang, " Jesus, Lover of my soul," in a 
manner that strangely impressed the audience. 
Mr. Baker died during the first year of my pas- 
torate at Ripley. I was with him as he entered 
the "valley and shadow of death." He said to 
his sister, "Sing." 

"What shall we sing?" she asked. 

He replied, "Jesus, Lover of my soul." 

They were unable to sing, and he sang most of 
the hymn alone, in strains that excelled anything 
I ever heard ; and then fell asleep in Jesus, honored 
and loved by thousands. 

In the year 1851, at the Conference held in 
Springfield, I was returned to Ripley. This year, 
William Simmons was my presiding elder. He 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

had received me into the Church, and I loved and 
honored him as a father. In his personal appear- 
ance, he resembled General Washington. He 
was a noble man, good and true; and his in- 
fluence is felt from Detroit and the lakes to the 
Ohio River. We were blessed with great revivals 
both years. An unusual number of persons, who 
had been exemplary in their deportment, but had 
not been converted, found Christ during my pas- 
torate, and became active and useful Christians. 
In all respects, this was one of the most pleasant 
appointments we ever received. 

During my second year, the " spirit-rappings,' 1 
so-called, were introduced into Ripley, and it was, 
perhaps, about the first place in Ohio where they 
had any footing. In a few months the followers 
of this delusion became very numerous. They 
took the position that these manifestations were 
justified by and taught in the Bible. Many of 
them ceased to attend the meetings of their re- 
spective Churches, and ceased to observe the ordi- 
nances of religion. They spent the Sabbaths in 
listening to the responses of the pretended spirits. 
As the delusion was in its infancy, the ministers 
feared to attack it ; we would be plowing in un- 
broken soil. As it was making fearful strides, and 
threatening the destruction of our Churches, and 
as no minister in the town would preach on the 
subject, I felt it my duty to do so; or, at any rate, 
to defend the Bible against the imputations that 
were made upon it. I announced that I would 
preach on the subject on Sunday night. 



I had spent about six weeks in preparation. 
My sermon was written, and, for the most part, 
read to the audience. It was, I presume, the first 
sermon ever preached on Spiritualism in the West. 
Of course, I did it at a great disadvantage. I held 
an audience, more crowded than any one I ever ad- 
dressed, for two hours and a half. All the minis- 
ters in the town and all classes of people were 
present. Women sat with their children in their 
arms upon the floor, and listened all that time. 
Twelve mediums sat in front of me, in a row. The 
spirits had given notice previously, that if I at- 
tempted to attack the delusion, there would be a 
kind of spiritual mob, and that the Bible would be 
mysteriously taken out of my hands, and that I 
would be thrown out of the pulpit by invisible 
agents ; and scores of people believed it, to such an 
extent had this delusion taken hold of the people. 

I based my remarks, not upon the declarations of 
its enemies, but upon the oral and written professions 
of its friends. This 1 announced at the beginning. 
The mediums were on the qui vive, and were pre- 
pared for the exhibition of some marvelous demon- 

I remarked, very calmly, that it was claimed by 
the friends of spiritualism, that strange phenomena 
had appeared in Ripley; that these were produced 
by departed and other spirits ; that they were com- 
municated through persons called u mediums ; >} and 
that these mediums were persons through whom 
good spirits and bad spirits, true spirits and lying 
spirits, spirits from heaven and spirits from hell, 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

were constantly making communications to the liv- 
ing. I then exclaimed : 

"How awful, to think that a refined and delicate 
young lady will admit and proclaim that she is, at 
times, under the influence of a lying spirit, and 
that she is communicating lies to the living, to the 
reproach of herself and the living with whom she 
communicates !" 

The mediums were dazed, and knew not what 
to do ; and that was the only demonstration from 
the spirits witnessed during my entire sermon. I 
have it in my possession yet, written out at length, 
and do not retract one page. 

From that hour the power of this delusion was 
broken, and it seemed to have retained no great 
hold upon the community. Its influence had been 
most pernicious. A number of the members of 
the Methodist Church were requested to leave its 
communion ; but the great majority remained, and 
were delivered from the power of the delusion. 

I was offered fifty dollars for the manuscript of 
my discourse ; but though it was requested by hun- 
dreds for publication, I refused to publish it. I have 
no cause now to reverse the opinion with regard to 
spiritualism, then publicly expressed. 

During my pastorate here, Maxwell P. Gaddis, 
son of Samuel Gaddis, was happily converted, and 
became an eloquent minister of the gospel. He 
connected himself, some years before he died, with 
the Methodist Protestant Church, and, by his elo- 
quence, drew large crowds to his church in Cincin- 
nati. During a part of the Civil War he was a 



chaplain in one of the Ohio regiments. I attended 
his funeral at Wesley Chapel Cincinnati, of which I 
was then pastor. 

I will have cause to speak further of Ripley 

While traveling from Ripley to West Union on 
an unfrequented road, night overtook me. A dread- 
ful storm was approaching, and I could not see my 
hand before me. The lightning revealed for an in- 
stant the dismal country through which I was pass- 
ing. No house was in sight, and I knew not what 
to do, as every moment I expected the storm to 
be upon me. 

I heard the clatter of a horse's hoof behind me, 
and soon a man on horseback was beside me. I 
feared that he might be a highwayman. After 
traveling a few paces in silence, he said in broken 
German : 

"This is a bad night. Are you going to West 

I answered, "Yes." 

"You can't get there through this darkness," he 
said. "You had better go home with me — I live 
two miles from here — and stay all night." 

"My friend," I replied, "I am a Protestant." 

"So am I," said he. 

"I am a Methodist." 

"I, too, am one," said he. 

"I am a humble Methodist preacher." 

"So am I," he replied. "God bless you!" — and 
he caught my hand and gave it a hearty shake. 

I was royally entertained that night at his 

2 7 6 

Bringing the Sheaves. 

house. Shortly after, I was invited to officiate at 
the marriage of his daughter. When they stood 
upon the floor, all the company, who were Ger- 
mans, began, as I thought, to sob audibly. I 
paused for a moment, but he said : 

"Go on; this is the way we do in Germany." 

I concluded the ceremony, and we had a hearty 
laugh at each other's expense. 

Brother Bloom was a most useful local preacher, 
and was afterwards a great blessing to me, and all 
affirmed that I was a great blessing to him. How 
needless and groundless are most of our fears ! 



THE Ohio Conference was divided in 1852 by 
the General Conference. By the division I 
became a member of the Cincinnati Conference, 
which held its first session that year at Xenia, Ohio, 
September 22d. Bishop E. S. Janes presided. 

My time having expired at Ripley, where I 
would go next I knew not. William Simmons, my 
presiding elder, had given me no intimation what- 
ever as to my appointment. I never mentioned the 
subject to him or to any one else. I supposed that 
I would go to some obscure circuit, and was con- 
tented. The day before the Conference closed, it 
became necessary for me to leave. I was excused, 
and just as I was leaving, Brother Simmons came 
to me and said, 

" You know where your appointment is?" 
T said, " No." 

"Well," said he, "as soon as possible, pack your 
household goods, and remove to Hillsboro." 

I never was more astonished in my life. To be 
sent to what I regarded as one of the most promi- 
nent charges in the Conference, was too much for 
me, and, for the time, I sank under it and wept. 
My preaching abilities were such, in my estima- 
tion, that I could never meet the demands of the 
charge. It seemed to me that this aopointment 


2 7 8 

Bringing the Sheaves. 

could not be the voice of God, and that some change 
would be made, and I would go elsewhere. But 
the next day revealed the fact that the appointment 
had been made. My hope then was, that the peo- 
ple of Hillsboro would refuse to receive me, and I 
would be free to go elsewhere. I remarked so to 
my friend, Joseph M. Trimble. He said : 

"There will be no change. It is just the ap- 
pointment for you and the people." 

They had requested the appointment of Cyrus 
Brooks, one of our best ministers; but, for some 
reason, this arrangement failed. Personally, they 
knew nothing of me, and I knew nothing of them. 
As I pondered over the matter, it grew darker and 
darker, and I saw in the appointment no hope of 
success. Mighill Dustin had been the former pas- 
tor, and had secured subscriptions, in part, for a 
new church edifice, which, for that day, would be a 
costly one. 

The next session of the Cincinnati Conference 
was to be held in Hillsboro, and the new church 
must be completed and dedicated within a year. 
This only increased my trouble. There was then 
a large membership, and the Church occupied a 
high social position in the town. Finally the im- 
pression was made upon my mind that I would not 
be received, though I had no evidence of this. 
However, we left Cincinnati one afternoon for Hills- 
boro. My intention was to go to a hotel, and not 
trouble anybody for entertainment, and to abide my 
fate, whatever it might be. I prayed all the way for 
grace to sustain me in what I believed to be my trial. 



When the train stopped at the depot, I noticed 
a large crowd present. I supposed they were there 
merely to witness the arrival of the train ; for the 
arrival of a train was a new thing in Hillsboro. A 
gentleman approached the conductor, and said : 

"Is the Rev. Mr. Fee on the train?" 

" I do n't know the gentleman," replied the con- 

He looked around him, and evidently saw no 
one who looked like a preacher. A moment after 
I heard the voice of a dear friend, Brother Dustin, 
the former pastor, in clear, ringing tones, asking 
for me. Before I answered, he cried out, "There 
he is !" He came back and took me by the arm, and 
led me to the platform, where a large number were 
assembled to welcome me. I was overwhelmed 
with astonishment. It was a mystery which I could 
not fathom. Mr. Dustin guided the way to a car- 
riage, and said he would take us to our lodgings. 

When we reached the place, the door opened, 
and whom should we meet but that saintly woman, 
Mrs. Judge Duvall, whom I have mentioned as one 
that greeted me at Lynchburg years before? She 
said, with all the feeling of a mother: 

"Come in, thou blessed of the Lord, come in! 
We shall have a revival this year." 

I was at home. In a week we were domiciled 
in the beautiful parsonage, with, apparently, more 
comforts and more friends than we had met pre- 
viously in any place. I found a strong, stable, 
vigorous Church, composed of many of the pillars 
of society. Here were Ex-Governor Trimble and 


Bringing the Shp;aves. 

his family; the venerable Christian Crum, father 
of Dr. George C. Crum; Philip Stone, father of 
John W. Stone, of the Cincinnati Conference; 
Joseph McD. Mathews, president of the Female 
Seminary ; W. W. McReynolds, Dr. A. Baker, and 
Dr. Robinson, former traveling preachers; J. T. 
Ayres, Judge Duvall, General Waddell, Hon. Nel- 
son Barrere, Alex. Buntain, Father John Hibben, 
Professor McKibben, Jacob Sayler; Mrs. Judge 
Thompson, afterwards Mother of the "Crusade;" 
Mr. Savage, Mr. Ambrose, John Dill, Joseph Wood- 
row, Joseph Glasscock, and many others whose 
names I can not mention now. 

I said to my wife, " After this reception, if it 
costs me my life, I must do all the good possible 
while I am a pastor in Hillsboro." I prayed night 
and day that God would help me; for in myself I 
was entirely helpless. At first the people knew 
little about me. They approached Dr. Baker, and 
inquired if he knew anything about the new 

"Yes," he replied; "he was my pastor on the 
first circuit he ever traveled. He was not much of 
a preacher, but he did the devil's kingdom more 
harm than any man who was ever on that circuit." 

Strange, to say, this inspired confidence among 
the people to an unwarrantable extent, as I thought. 
On my first Sabbath I was badly frightened; but 
the Holy Spirit was with me. On the succeeding 
Sabbath, when I was alone, standing in the par- 
sonage lot, God gave me, in answer to prayer, an 
assurance that we would have a glorious revival of 



religion. It came with such power and sweetness 
to my soul that I could scarcely contain myself. I 
never lost my faith during all my pastorate there. I 
told my presiding elder what God had done for me; 
but he said : 

"William, you don't know this people as well 
as I do." 

I replied: "I am not fanatical. I know the Lord; 
he will not disappoint me." 

"Well," he said, " we shall see. I will hope for 
the best." 

The next Sabbath, God was with me as he had 
scarcely ever been before. A large congregation 
was present, and the power of the Spirit soon be- 
came apparent. The whole congregation, saints 
and sinners, seemed to be moved by some strange 
influence, which no human power could produce. 
At the close the usual Sabbath collection was 
taken for the support of the pastor and incidental 
expenses. These collections had been small and 
discouraging. The venerable Christian Crum super- 
intended the taking up of the collection. When 
it was handed to him, he looked at it in astonish- 
ment, and held up the basket, which was filled with 
money, before the congregation. The tears were 
streaming down his face ; for he had borne the heat 
and burden of the day in other years. He ex- 
claimed : "A revival, a revival, a revival! See! 
The Spirit of God always severs the cords of self- 
ishness!" And no one knew it better than Father 

The following Saturday and Sunday our quar- 


Bringing the; Sheaves. 

terly-mecting was held. The people were full of 
hope. The love-feast was a remarkable one. The 
presiding elder, in the ten o'clock sermon, was never 
more blest, and the shout of a king was heard in the 
camp of Israel. I was appointed to preach at night. 
When I closed, I invited seekers to the altar, and 
it was crowded. A number were converted, and 
thus began a religious influence which continued 
during my pastorate in Hillsboro. 

When I first came, the presiding elder informed 
me that a choir had been conducting the singing 
for some months; that they had left their place 
during the time of the pastor's attendance at Con- 
ference, which was near the pulpit, and had occu- 
pied the gallery in the church without permission ; 
and that it was my duty to order them back into 
the body of the church. This I most respectfully 
declined to do ; having had such bitter experience 
on the subject previously. He told me that there 
were not more than two of the nineteen persons 
in the choir who were converted, or even members 
of the Church ; and that they would give me noth- 
ing but trouble. But I felt it my duty to be quiet 
for the time, and leave the matter with God. 

The next Sunday evening the house was densely 
crowded. Sinners were crying for mercy, even dur- 
ing the preaching. When I was about to announce 
the hymn at the commencement, I found that the 
members of the choir were not in the gallery, and, 
evidently, they had done just what my presiding 
elder said they would do ; deserted me when I 
most needed them. There must have been at least 



fifty persons forward, seeking Christ. A number 
were soon converted. Some one threw his arms 
around me as I was kneeling at the altar, and 
when I turned round I found it was the leader of 
the choir ; the last man whom I supposed could b? 
converted. He told me that every member of the 
choir was seeking Christ but one. Perhaps ten 
were converted that night, and they were among 
the best young people of Hillsboro. That settled 
the choir difficulty forever. No one was more re- 
joiced at this result than my presiding elder. 

After this we had the best revival singing by 
the choir I have ever heard during my fifty years 
in the pastorate. They sang with the spirit and 

The revival went forward until spring, when it 
became necessary to tear down the old, time-hon- 
ord church, in order to make way for the splendid 
new building which was to take its place. This 
work began in April, and the new church must be 
ready for occupancy by September. For four or 
five months I had labored incessantly, and I 
needed rest. They gave me two weeks' respite. 
The night before I was to leave I held our usual 
prayer-meeting. It was said that everybody had 
been converted within that region ; but that even- 
ing we had twenty new seekers at the altar. I re- 
mained a week longer and the altar was filled 
every night. I tore myself away at the end of the 
week, and took a few days' rest. At the expiration 
of that time I returned to commence about the 
hardest effort of my life. 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

The work among the young men was wonder- 
ful. Nearly one hundred were converted, and I 
began the work of training them, in which I 
was greatly blest. Out of this band went forth 
three brilliant and prominent traveling preachers — 
Allen T. Thompson, R. W. Black, and Wm. H. 


A very wicked young man began to seek 
Christ early in our revival. He gave all possible 
evidence, as tar as we could see, of being in earnest. 
He was the first at the altar, and the last to leave, 
for six weeks. He aroused the sympathy of the 
entire congregation. Bven now, I remember his 
piteous pleadings for mercy. One evening he said, 

" If there is salvation for me, I will obtain it 
before I leave this house or die here." 

At twelve o'clock many remained and prayed 
with him, but he found no relief. He refused to 
leave. Three o'clock in the morning came, and 
he was still praying with God as a man would 
pray for his life. It was four o'clock in the morn- 
ing, just as the day began to dawn, when, with an 
utter abandonment, he threw himself upon the 
mercy of an Almighty Savior, and trusted alone in 
the merits of Christ for salvation. In a moment 
the victory was gained and he was conqueror 
through Christ. He had obtained a consciousness 
of wonderful salvation, and, in the fullness of his 
joy, he exclaimed : 

" O how cheap, how cheap ! Only six weeks 


28 5 

seeking for this, and now I have found an eternal 
fortune !" 

From that time until now his piety has been as a 
shining light that shineth more and more unto the 
perfect day. He has been in the furnace of afflic- 
tion, but the Son of God has walked with him in 
the midst of the flames. 

Another remarkable case occurred about the 
same time. I noticed in the congregation, fre- 
quently, a prominent young merchant. He was 
noble and dignified in appearance, and very re- 
spectful in his deportment, but I could not under- 
stand him as I did most persons. 

One evening I was impressed to go and speak 
to him, and I was treated with great respect. When 
I said, 

".Are you converted ?" 

He replied, " I am not." 

" Have you never been ?" 

" No," said he, " never. I do not need it." 

" You feel yourself a sinner, do you not?" 

" No, I do not." 

" Do you pretend to say that, to the best of 
your knowledge, you have never sinned against 

" Yes, that 's just what I intended to say." 

" So you have never sinned against God in your 
life, so far as you know ?" 

He referred to his honesty and integrity, and to 
his respect for the common rules of morality and 
the claims of Christians, as he understood them. 

I had never met a case of this kind before. I 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

thought and prayed for a moment, and then said 
to him : 

" Mr. W., I felt impressed to approach you on 
the subject of religion." 

" That is all right," he said. 

" But I now discover that I made a mistake. I 
ought to have come to you for help, instead of 
coming to help you. If what you tell me is true, 
I need your counsel and prayers." 

" Well, I told you the truth," he answered. 

" Then," said I, " I can only do one thing after 
presenting my apology for coming to you, and that 
is, to ask an interest in your prayers. Pray that I 
may be as good a man as you represent yourself 
to be. You certainly will not deny this request." 

He replied, " No sir; and I will give you my 
hand as a pledge that I will do so." 

We then parted. When the invitation was 
given on the next evening for persons to come 
forward for prayer, to my surprise he was the very 
first that came. He grasped my hand, and had 
me kneel at his side, and said : 

" O Mr. Fee, what a sinner I am ! I am an 
awful* sinner. I want you, now, to pray for «me." 

He told me that, when about to retire to bed 
that night, after our interview, he had forgotten 
his pledge. When he thought of it he said, " It 
will never do for me, after making the profession I 
have, to be false to my word," and he kneeled 
down by his bedside to pray for the minister, ac- 
cording to agreement. The very moment he 
kneeled and was about to commence his prayer, 



the folly of what he was doing flashed upon his 
mind, and he said, " What folly for me to do this !" 
and with it came the awful conviction that he was 
a sinner; and he let me go, and began to prav for 

That night he found Christ, and united with 
the Church, of which, for a number of years he 
was one of the leading members, and a prominent 
citizen. He died a few years since in the triumph 
of that religion which he so strangely found. 

Mr. Joseph Woodrow, a prominent merchant, a 
gentleman of high social standing, and respected 
by all who knew him, was, at this time, about 
thirty-three years of age. He had been, for years, 
a member of the Church, and nothing could be 
said against him as to his outward deportment. 
He was one of the most timid men I ever knew ; 
conscientious as he well could be. He had never 
been known to take any public part in the serv- 
ices of religion. He had never had any evidence 
that he was a child of God. He had earnestly 
sought salvation until he had come to the conclu- 
sion that he never could be converted. 

Early in the revival he came forward as a seeker 
of salvation. From the first I labored with him, 
and told him that it was within his reach. He, 
evidently, had an idea that it must be of the 
most striking and sensational character. I begged 
him to leave this with God, and waive all for an 
unconditional surrender of himself to Christ, and 
then depend upon the mercy of Christ, as though 
he had done nothing. 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

He found mercy in this, and his sense of guilt 
was removed. Peace came to his soul, but no 
great joy. He was like a little, timid child. I 
begged of him to confide in me as his pastor, and 
besought him to commend himself to God as his 
only help and hope. 

For months, almost every morning, he would 
call at the parsonage and report progress. His 
timidity was passing away ; his faith grew stronger, 
and his confidence in the ultimate result became 
fixed. If any unusual trouble arose, he came at 
once to me, so that for six months we were in 
almost daily converse. He was now a new man, 
and only sought to know his duty, and he was 
ready to perform it at every cost. He became a 
great power in the Church. 

John Hibben, his class-leader, an aged veteran 
in the service, suddenly died. Mr. Hibben had 
been for many years the leader of the largest class 
in Hillsboro. His loss seemed irreparable. I said 
to Governor Trimble, who was a member of his 
class, and an uncle of Mr. Woodrow's : 

"What shall we do for a leader to supply that 
good man's place ?" 

"Appoint Joseph Woodrow," said he; "he will 
fill the place." 

This met with the universal approbation of the 
class, and I appointed him, to his unutterable 

He said: " I dare not resist what appears to be, 
not only the voice of the Church, but the voice 
of God." 



And, trembling like a child, he engaged in the 
work. Perhaps no one in that country ever suc- 
ceeded better. He became a power in the Church; 
a leading steward, and a Sabbath-school superin- 
tendent. For years he served as treasurer of 
Highland County. In all the relations of life he 
had few equals. 

In the midst of his life and usefulness, he died 
one of the most victorious deaths that was ever 
witnessed in Hillsboro. This case, to me, has been 
one of the important lessons of my life and labors 
in the pastorate. 

About the middle of April, it became necessary 
to remove the time-honored church in which so 
many souls had been converted, and to erect a more 
commodious one. We found, in order to build a 
safe edifice, we must dig down to the solid rock, 
which was only a few feet from the surface. This 
we did, and the building now stands upon a firm 
foundation. To erect the new church, and have it 
ready for the session of Conference, was a Hercu- 
lean task. Contractors and all, save Jacob Sayler 
and myself, said it could not be done. We pushed 
it with all the energy possible. We prayed and 
worked. Meanwhile, we were compelled to wor- 
ship in the court-house; but the temple of justice 
became a temple of grace, and many souls were 
converted there. 

During all that summer, from early dawn until 
late at night, I was engaged in supervising the con- 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

s traction of the church, as I was chairman of the 
Building Committee. The wonder is, that I did 
not wreck my health; but God sustained me. 

About seven months after the revival began, 
more than two hundred professors of religion were 
recommended for membership. When the Sabbath 
morning arrived which was to witness their recep- 
tion into full membership, an immense audience 
was present. When the names of the applicants 
were called, they filled the space in front of the 
judge's seat and extended around the aisles. I then 
remarked : 

" I now present the applications of two hundred 
or more persons to be received into the communion 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church." 

Most of them were adults. Mrs. Judge Duvall 
sat in a chair in front of me. Her face was radiant 
with heavenly joy. I thought of my reception a 
few months before when she invited me into her 
house, saying : "Come in, thou blessed of the Lord, 
come in! We shall have a revival now." She 
lifted her hands, looked heavenward, and almost 
every eye in the house was fixed upon her, as she 
said : "Now, Lord, lettest thou thy servant depart 
in peace according to thy word; for mine eyes 
have seen thy salvation." On the next Tuesday 
she fell asleep in Jesus. She died in the Lord, and 
her works do follow her. It was worth the labors 
of a lifetime to behold such a scene. During the 
months that we occupied the court-house the re- 
vival continued steadily, and the Church suffered 
no apparent loss from this cause. 



Contrary to almost universal expectation, our 
church was ready for dedication at the time fixed. 
Joseph M. Trimble preached the dedication sermon, 
and was assisted in the services by Dr. Chas. Elliott, 
editor of the Western Christian Advocate. Bishop 
Baker, who was expected to be present, was de- 
tained by illness. The entire indebtedness upon 
the church, amounting to several thousand dollars, 
was paid, and we had hundreds of dollars to spare. 
I am greatly indebted to my dear and cherished 
friend, Jacob Sayler, for the final success which 
crowned this enterprise. 

The Conference session began September 28, 
1853, Bishop Janes presiding. It was opened with 
the administration of the Lord's Supper, which 
was an occasion of wonderful power and blessing. 
Bishops Ames and Simpson, John P. Durbin, D. D., 
and many other distinguished visitors^ were pres- 
ent. The session was one of sweetest harmony. 

On Sunday, Bishop Janes preached in the morn- 
ing, and Bishop Simpson in the afternoon, at three 
o'clock. Seldom in the history of any Conference 
was the presence and power of the Holy Ghost 
more manifest; not only in the public services, but 
in the business of the Conference, and in the fam- 
ilies who entertained the preachers. Almost the 
entire bar of the court were present to hear Bishop 
Simpson. They came to me with a petition beg- 
ging him to preach again before the Conference 
closed. At first, he said, "I can not do this." But 
the impression made upon the town was such, and 
especially upon persons unused to be impressed, 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

that I again urged the invitation, and the bishop 
took it under consideration. At three o'clock the 
next morning he sent a messenger to the parson- 
age asking me to come over to his room, which I 
did. He was walking hurriedly backward and for- 
ward. He said : 

"O I wish that I knew what God would have 
me do ! I have spent a sleepless night. I have 
heard it said that my special friend, Colonel 
William Trimble, has stated that if I would stay and 
preach, he would join the Church. If I thought I 
could win that man to Christ, I would stay." 

" Bishop," said I, " I believe you can." 

"You do?" 

" Yes." 

He then, with the deepest emotion, said, "I 
will stay, and leave all to God." 

It was announced that he would remain, and 
unanimous joy was expressed. In the evening he 
preached from the text, " Now the just shall live 
by faith." It was said to be the sermon of his life. 
Toward the close, many of the most talented and 
prominent members of the Conference, as well as 
visitors, were so filled with enthusiasm that they 
sprang to their feet in different parts of the house, 
and waved their hands, exclaiming, " Glory to 
God in the highest !" Tears and shouts were 
everywhere. I said to him : 

" Bishop, will you open the doors of the Church, 
and receive whoever may come ?" 

He arose and gave the invitation in a few 
words. I saw Colonel Trimble in the gallery, and 



wondered what the effect would be upon him. In 
a moment he sprang to his feet, came down to the 
audience-room, and up the aisle, and was in the 
arms of the bishop. His father and mother, his 
brother Joseph and his sister, Mrs. Thompson, and 
a host of others gathered around him ; for he had 
been all his life a subject of prayer. On the Sab- 
bath evening previous, Judge Henry Thompson, 
his brother-in-law and the husband of Mrs. Eliza 
Jane Thompson, the originator of the " Crusade," 
was powerfully converted and promised to give 
himself to Christ. He also joined the judge, and 
kneeled at the altar and professed faith in the 
L,ord Jesus Christ. 

While they were kneeling at the altar, Gov- 
ernor Trimble sat some distance from them. I ap- 
proached him and said : 

" Governor, you have great interests at stake in 
this work." 

" Indeed I have," he replied. 

" Would you be willing to offer up a prayer for 
your son, and son-in-law, and daughter?" 

He said, " I will ; but I must get in a praying 
circle before I do it." 

Climbing over the top of the seats, he kneeled 
among his kindred and friends, and offered up a 
most wonderful prayer for their conversion ; while 
three of his grandsons, who had been converted 
during the revival, kneeled around him and united 
their prayers with his for the salvation of souls. 
The fruits of that sermon and that meeting yet 

294 Bringing the Sheaves. 

During the Conference, Dr. John P. Durbin, 
visited me several times at my house. He was 
often the visitor of my grandfather and my father, 
and I used to hear him preach when I was a boy, 
at old Hopewell Church, near Felicity, Ohio, when 
he was a professor in Augusta College ; and I always 
loved and admired him. His earlier preaching was 
signalized by a pathos and impressiveness which 
did not mark it in later years. All the while he 
would have my little boy in his arms, and was 
constantly teaching him some lesson which the 
child never forgot. Bishop Janes, at times, was 
also my guest. He was a most lovable and 
agreeable man. 

At this Conference, a committee of five per- 
sons was appointed by Bishop Janes, composed of 
John F. Wright, Charles Elliott, John T. Mitchell, 
Asbury Lowrey, and W. I. Fee, to consider the 
propriety of the erection of a college of high 
order for the education of the colored people in 
the State of Ohio, and to devise ways and means 
for the same, and report at the next Conference to 
be held in Cincinnati. 

Hillsboro at that time was a very conservative 
town, and the appointment of such a committee was 
offensive to many politicians. When my name 
was announced as a member of the committee, I 
was approached by the Whig candidate for gov- 
ernor, residing there, who asked me if I would ac- 
cept the appointment. I answered, "Yes." 

"Then," said he, "we will have but little use 
for you in this community !" 



I frankly informed him that I had not been in 
the habit of being governed on moral questions by 
the politicians of the day, and would not be so 
governed in this case. He was defeated at the en- 
suing election by a plurality of forty or fifty thou- 
sand votes, and this was the last I heard of it. 

For sprituality, this Conference was the most 
wonderful we have ever enjoyed. It was the uni- 
versal desire of the people in Hillsboro that I 
should be returned to the charge. The bishop ac- 
cordingly appointed me, and, after resting for a 
few days, I began the work of another year. 

The revival continued, and I spent much of my 
time in training the young people. A hundred 
young men were banded together. The Rev. R. W. 
Black, of Nebraska, who was one of them, con- 
tends that I formed there, in substance, the first 
Epworth League ever constituted. The Female 
Seminary, in charge of Dr. J. McD. Mathews, 
shared largely in the revival influence. 

After looking over the field thoroughly, and 
the educational wants of Hillsboro and Southern 
Ohio, I came to the conclusion that a college for 
the education and training of young ladies was a 
necessity. It was my privilege, whether wisely or 
not, to present to the Quarterly Conference a pre- 
amble and resolutions for the founding of such an 
institution. It was unanimously adopted, and I 
was authorized to proceed at once to solicit sub- 
scriptions and donations for that purpose. I 


Bringing the Shkavks. 

secured, in cash and subscriptions, some eight thou- 
sand dollars before the close of the year. The 
ensuing Conference appointed an agent for the col- 
lege to prosecute the work. Its struggles are too 
well known to need any additional statement 
from me. 

This year was in some respects a sad one to 
us. Our little baby girl, now Mrs. Louise Fee 
Hedges, of Piqua, Ohio, was attacked with scarlet 
fever. When she was thought to be dying, and 
likely to survive but a few hours, our friends urged 
us to retire and rest as best we could. We did so, 
expecting every moment that we would be called 
to see her die. But the morning came, and she 
lived, and opened her eyes, and recognized us and 
her brother Willie, nearly four years old. The 
little fellow threw his arms around her, and kissed 
her, full of joy. 

She was spared to us; but our dear little boy, a 
few days afterwards, was attacked by the same dis- 
ease in the most malignant form, and in a few 
days the angel of death came, and he was with God. 

From his very babyhood he appeared to be at- 
tracted only by religious persons. He was a beau- 
tiful singer, and during a revival, night after night, 
when not in the arms of his mother, he was held 
in the arms of ladies who were around the altar, 
and sang until his voice could be distinctly heard 
throughout that large church. His countenance, 
while he was singing, and while he was in religious 
meetings, would be lighted up with what seemed 
to be a heavenly light. God gave him, and God 



took him. We kissed the rod and said, "Thy will 
be done." 

At the close of the year I magnified the grace 
which God had given me. Three of the con- 
verts, Allen T. Thompson, William H. Mullenix, 
and R. W. Black, became traveling preachers. 
Allen Trimble Thompson died in the midst of 
revival work, in Binghamton, New York. He 
lives in the memory of the thousands who heard 
him preach Christ and his cause. 

I now supposed that I certainly would be sent 
to a circuit ; and, indeed, I desired this. The Cin- 
cinnati Conference held its session in Ninth Street 
(now Trinity) Church, Cincinnati, September 27, 
1854. I served as a member of the Committee 
on Education, and acted as its secretary. I pre- 
sented an application to the Conference for the 
reception of the new Hillsboro Female College 
under its patronage and control; providing they 
did not assume any financial responsibility. It 
was received. 

The committee appointed to consider the sub- 
ject of founding an institution of high order for the 
education of the colored people of the State, met at 
Cincinnati, in the Methodist Book Room, on the 
corner of Eighth and Main Streets, where we dis- 
cussed the matter fully, and agreed upon a report 
favoring the immediate establishment of such an in- 
stitution. I also had the honor of presenting this 
paper to the Conference. When I read the report 
of the committee, James B. Finley moved that the 
report be received and adopted, which was seconded. 

298 Bringing the: Sheaves. 

He then stated that if the African Methodist Epis- 
copal Church would approve the proposition pre- 
sented in that paper, such an institution would be 
speedily founded. It appeared to meet with great 

In the year 1892 the Conference of the African 
Methodist Episcopal Church held its session in 
Piqua, Ohio. I was present at the beginning. 
Bishops Payne and Arnett were presiding, and they 
invited me to come forward and be introduced to 
the Conference. I did so, and the bishop took me 
by the hand, and holding me, said : 

" I have the pleasure of holding by the hand 
the only living link which you will ever see, 
that binds us to the friends of those who recom- 
mended the formation of an institution for the edu- 
cation of the colored people among the Methodists 
in the State of Ohio. In the year 1854 I heard 
that such an enterprise would come before the Cin- 
cinnati Conference at Cincinnati. I was then in 
Indiana, and hastened to reach the Conference. I 
took my seat in the gallery of the church, and just 
as I did so the man whom I now hold by the hand 
arose with a paper, and pegged leave to report. 
He then read the action of the committee which 
had been appointed at Hillsboro to devise a plan 
for the founding of an institution in the State of 
Ohio for the education of colored people. 

"After the paper was read, I saw that it was 
received with enthusiasm. Mr. Finley held the 
floor. When he made an allusion to the African 
Methodist Episcopal Church, he looked toward the 



gallery and saw me, and without another word he 
left the platform, rushed into the gallery, came to 
me and said : 

'"Are you a Christian?' 

" ' I am trying to be one,' I replied. 

" 'Are you a preacher?' he asked. 

" ' They say I am.' 

" ' Can it be that this is Bishop Payne ?' 

" ' They call me Bishop Payne.' 

"Then he took me by the arm, and rushed me 
down the stairs and up the aisle to the platform. 
When I was introduced to the Conference, I was 
received with great applause. I at once assured 
the Conference that the proposed plan would meet 
with nothing but distinguished favor from the Afri- 
can Methodist Episcopal Church. 

"The man, whose hand I now hold, is the only 
one of that committee, which deserves the gratitude 
of the colored people of this country, able to speak 
as he can speak. I need not tell you that this 
action resulted in the establishment of the Wilber- 
force University." 


^ A THEN the Cincinnati Conference of 1854 was 

Y Y ready to close, Bishop Scott, who was presid- 
ing, announced that the appointments would now be 
read. I had no idea, whatever, as to my own. I was 
looking for a circuit, probably in the vicinity of 
Hillsboro ; but the bishop began : " Cincinnati Dis- 
trict, William Herr, presiding elder; Ninth Street 
Church, W. I. Fee." If the moon had fallen from 
its orbit, I would not have been more astonished. 
I immediately sat down and wept. It was the most 
prominent appointment in the Conference, and I 
felt that I had not a single qualification for it. It 
was worse than Hillsboro had been, and I was slow 
to learn the lesson that I learned there. 

In due time, full of discouragement, I removed 
to a house on the corner of George and Race Streets, 
which had been provided by the Church. My sal- 
ary would be double what it had been ; but money 
had few charms for me, nor had position, in a 
worldly point of view. With due sympathy my 
friends gathered around, and gave me a cordial 
greeting. My position now brought me into the 
society of many of the prominent ministers and lay- 
men of Ohio. 

Cincinnati was the seat of our great publishing 
interests in the West, as well as the chief city, at 

Ninth Street, Cincinnati. 301 

that time. These, with other considerations, made* 
my position a trying one. There was nothing con- 
nected with myself which promised success. My 
congregation was largely made up of mercantile and 
business men. How to be a blessing to them was 
a problem I could not solve. I believed that there 
was no help for me but in God. 

Another fact greatly discouraged me : James 
Caughey — at that time, perhaps, the most success- 
ful evangelist in the world — only a few months be- 
fore had conducted revival services in that church 
for weeks, but without any marked results. His 
meetings were held in the month of April — a most 
unfavorable time. I said to myself: " If Mr. Caughey 
could not succeed, where is there any hope for one 
of the least of God's servants?" 

John T. Mitchell, father of Frank G. Mitchell, 
now stationed in Piqua, Ohio, came to my help. 
He prayed for me, and consulted with me, as did 
John Reeves. Bishop D. W. Clark was then editor 
of the Ladies^ Repository. He and his wife were 
untiring in their efforts to sustain me. John S. 
Perkins opened his house for the entertainment of 
myself and wife, and became one of the most val- 
ued friends I ever had on earth. It was a dark day 
when he had no words of hope and cheer to offer 
me. In every position he was true and faithful. 
He has recently gone to his reward, beloved by all 
who knew him. There were also members of this 
charge, Hiram DeCamp, Lambert DeCamp, C. W. 
McGill, A. S. Butterfield, John Simpkinson, Alfred 
Simpkinson, J. W. Cotteral, Thomas Morgan, Jathan 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

Emerson, Daniel Harper; George W. Harper, prin- 
cipal of Woodward High School; Mr. Baldwin, 
Charles H. Wolff, Lewis W. Wolff, James Adair, 
Joseph Adair ; Mrs. Miranda Vornholz, the suc- 
cessful lady evangelist; Alfonso Edwards, Dr. 
Woodward; F. W. Howell, now of Dayton, Ohio; 
William Wartman, William T. Perkins, Adam N. 
Riddle and wife, and many others who deserve hon- 
orable mention, but space will not permit. 

At first the congregation was small. The social 
meetings were kept up, and were very spiritual. 
The Church was united, but it was a down-town 
church, and was beginning to fear depletion by 
the removal of its members to new congregations 
which had been formed in the suburbs. I saw the 
situation, and my own helplessness; but the kind- 
ness of the people and their prayerful sympathy 
gave me hope. 

In the first part of the year, Dr. Eucien W. 
Berry, president of the Indiana Asbury Univer- 
sity, preached for me. The smallness of the con- 
gregation and the apparent want of spirituality at- 
tracted his attention. He spoke of it as a most 
discouraging appointment. This drove me to my 
knees and to my work. I began my visiting from 
house to house, in the Church and out of it, leaving 
no member whom I could find unvisited. I went 
to the stores, offices, and manufacturing establish- 
ments. I visited people without any regard to their 
social position. I noticed in a short time that this 
was producing a better state of things. In my 
humble way I preached plainly, but lovingly. 

Ninth Street, Cincinnati. 303 

John Reeves, a central figure in Cincinnati, said to 
me one day: 

u You are the most plain, practical, heart-search- 
ing, and loving preacher we have had in this Church 
since I have been connected with it." 

He could not truly say any more. He might 
have said a great deal less; but this gave me en- 
couragement. In every sermon I aimed at imme- 
diate results, and looked for them; and it was not 
long until conversions followed. There was a 
marked increase in interest and in numbers. 

Charles H. Wolff, at that time a prominent whole- 
sale merchant of Cincinnati, a son-in-law of L,eroy 
Swormstedt, Agent of the Western Book Concern, 
was superintendent of the Sunday-school. As I was 
deeply interested in this department of Church- 
work, I aided Mr. Wolff to the best of my ability. 
We had the largest number of young men and young 
ladies in the school of any Church in the city. It 
was the best organized Sunday-school I had ever 
known. Few surpassed the superintendent in ex- 
ecutive ability. Everything was like clock-work. 
The school was missionary in its spirit and opera- 
tions. One day Mr. Swormstedt said to me : 

"You were at the party at Mr. Wolff's last night, 
were you not?" 

I replied, "Yes." 

" I had great hopes for your success when you 
came here," said he; "but these parties will soon 
spoil you as they have spoiled others. Mr. Wolff 
means well, but his policy is a mistaken one. What 
did you do last night?" 

304 Bringing the Sheaves. 

I replied, " First we had a teachers' meeting 
for one hour." 

"And what then?" he asked. 
"We had a prayer-meeting." 
"And what then?" 

" We had the presence of the Holy Spirit, as we 
were praying for a revival of God's work in our 
school and in our Church." 

"Well, I suppose for once I was mistaken," re- 
joined he, and he said no more. 

That night Mr. Wolff and myself came to the 
conclusion, as there was generally a spirit of re- 
vival among teachers and scholars, that we ought 
to make an effort on the next Sabbath, if possible, 
to inaugurate a service for the immediate conver- 
sion of the scholars. In the meantime we deter- 
mined that we, ourselves, would pray for success, 
and then urge upon the teachers the necessity for a 
deeper consecration for their work, and have in 
view, on each Sabbath, the immediate conversion 
of those who had been intrusted to their care. At 
that time Mr. Baldwin had in his class about one 
hundred young people of Cincinnati. I never 
knew his equal as a Bible-class teacher. 

The next Sabbath came. The school was un- 
usually large, and solemnity pervaded almost every 
department. I noticed many of the teachers, as 
they sat in their classes, bathed in tears, and their 
scholars were weeping also. The lesson was brief 
that day. I said to Mr. Wolff: 

"I want you to consider yourself as a pastor 
here, and I will aid you as far as I can." 

Ninth Street, Cincinnati. 305 

We requested the teachers, in a few words, to 
speak in regard to their interest in the salvation of 
their scholars. Many of them did this, and the 
feeling was greatly deepened. We then invited 
any who were unsaved, and who felt their need of 
Christ, and were willing to seek him, to come for- 
ward and kneel at the chancel. At least fifty did 
so. These were generally young men and young 
women. The scene was wonderful. It was the 
beginning of a revival interest which continued 
through my pastorate of two years, and afterwards 
was manifested in the pastorate of Rev. Charles 

The rule was, that any teacher absent for three 
Sundays in succession, without the best of reasons, 
should lose his position as teacher. It was thought 
that to carry out this rule would be fatal ; that teach- 
ers could not be secured; but we had more appli- 
cations by one hundred per cent for positions as 
teachers than we had classes to supply them. 

Large numbers now flocked to the school, drawn 
thither by the revival influence, and were soon con- 
verted and began active work. This continued 
almost every Sunday afternoon. A spirit of enter- 
prise began to manifest itself. The entire congre- 
gation shared in the movement, and our lecture- 
room was soon refitted. 

Dr. Berry, of whom I have spoken, came to 
preach for us at this time. When he beheld the 
change in the number and spirit of the congrega- 
tion, he was astonished. 

"Why, what has brought this about ?" he said. 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

"I replied, "Attribute it to the Spirit of God 
which has been poured out upon us." 

"I know that," said he; "but what did you 
do to produce this result?" 

I explained the Sabbath-school revival. 

"But what methods did you pursue?" 

I answered : " It has been my habit since I 
came to the charge, to visit every day of the week, 
as far as possible, and shake hands with the people 
wherever I meet them, and say a few kind words 
to them if I can, and pray with them; and then 
they come into the Church and join, and shake 
hands with me, and say kind words, and en- 
courage me." 

This deeply impressed him ; and I heard of his 
repeating it often, in Indiana and elsewhere, as a 
very successful way to get and keep a congregation. 

Our principal revival services were now held 
on Sunday and Wednesday evenings. One Sab- 
bath evening I shall never forget. One of the 
most prominent and efficient business men in the 
Church and in the city was always at his place on 
Sabbath, but was never seen at prayer-meeting. 
Meeting me one day, he said : 

" I do not believe that we ought to have prayer- 
meeting during the week, but we ought to have a 
lecture instead of this, every Wednesday evening. 
If we had, I, with my family, would be present at 
every lecture. I am always present, as you see, on 

After a moment's pause I said, " Brother S., 
will you permit me to ask you a question?" 

Ninth Street, Cincinnati. 307 
He assented. 

" I will do it lovingly, and hope I shall have 
an answer, either yes or no. Do you not, at times, 
feel condemned for not attending the prayer- 
meetings, and have you not thought if you could 
substitute a lecture for the prayer-meeting, that 
your conscience would feel easier, and that you 
would be relieved from the responsibility of attend- 
ing it ; and does not all this aversion of prayer- 
meeting arise from the fact that you are fearful that 
you might be called on to pray, and are unwilling 
to do so?" 

He said : " I must confess that this is so. I 
can not pray ; and to ask me to do what I have no 
ability to do, I think is unreasonable." 

I replied : " I believe that you speak the truth. 
Now, I think this whole matter can be adjusted. 
If you will agree to attend the prayer-meeting 
with your family on Wednesday evening, I will 
pledge myself never to call upon you, nor permit 
any one else to do so if I can avoid it; providing 
you will take the entire responsibility of not pray- 
ing upon yourself, or until such time as you may 
relieve me from my pledge." 

Looking greatly pleased, he said : u Tt 's a bar- 
gain. I will be out, you may rest assured. I will 
take my family in a carriage, and be there on next 
Wednesday evening;" and he was, and was de- 
lighted with the meeting. He was present at the 
second, third, fourth, and fifth prayer-meetings. I 
noticed, on the last, that he was deeply moved in 
regard to something ; I knew not what. Some of 

3 o8 

Bringing the Sheaves. 

the members of his family had been forward for 
prayer that night. 

" This is the best prayer-meeting I ever at- 
tended," said he. " It is a great cross for me to 
say what I feel I must say ; I can not bear the 
responsibility any longer. If you think it best for 
me to lead in prayer, call on me at your discretion, 
and I will do the best I can." 

The next Sabbath morning there was a deep, 
quiet influence manifested all over the audience. 
Mr. S. said to me : 

" You are going to have a revival. I do n't 
believe in excitement, and I will not be present to- 
night at the services, because I know it is coming. 
I intend no disrespect to you, for you are proving 
a great blessing to me ; but I can not endure 
religious excitement." 

I simply said, "Ask the Lord about it," and 
left him. 

The night came on. The audience-room was 
crowded. Mr. Wilber's female college was largely 

' represented. Bishop Clark was present, and made 
a wonderful prayer at the opening. After a brief 
service, I invited those who were seeking Christ 
to come forward. At least [fifty came. A large 
number of the students of the female college were 
among them, and many of the most prominent 
Methodist families in the city were represented. 

'Almost every member of the Official Boaid had 
some one there to represent him. There was no 
noise, but weeping all over the house. A very 
large number were converted that night, and two 

Ninth Strkkt, Cincinnati. " 309 

or three of the members of Mr. S's. family. 
Toward the close I noticed that Mr. S. was there, 
and evidently not disturbed by the excitement. 
My attention was arrested by some one clapping 
his hands and exclaiming, " Glory to God !" At 
the moment a friend said : 
" Do you see that?" 

I looked around, and there was Mr. S., in a loud 
voice exclaiming, "Glory to God!" and clapping 
his hands in a way to astonish everybody. I said 
nothing to him until the next day, when he came 
to me, radiant with delight, and said : 

u That was the best meeting last night I ever 
attended in my life. There was not a particle of 
excitement about it. Why, what do you think? 
Mr. P. was in here awhile ago and said that I 
shouted !" 

" Did he say that ?" I replied. 

" Yes, and others heard him." 

" If he did say so, I hope he will not deny it, 
for it was the truth ; you made more noise than 
anybody in the house." 

"Well," said he, " I did not know it." 

The next night he rose up before a large con- 
gregation, and stated that before, he only had his 
religion on Sunday, and now he had it every day 
in the week. 

Two of Bishop Clark's daughters were kneeling 
at the altar that night, and Miss Katharine R. Clark 
(now Mrs. Mullikin) found the pearl of great 
price. She is one of the most useful ladies in the 
city of Cincinnati. Her father and mother, who 

3io Bringing the Sheaves. 

were such a blessing to me during my pastorate, 
and who for so many years blessed the Church 
by their faithful labors, have passed to their re- 
ward. I always loved them, and expect to greet 
them in endless life. 

I endeavored to train these young converts, 
not only to habits of devotion, but of constant 
and untiring religious work. William T. Perkins, 
who was greatly blessed during this revival, has 
been from then until now one of the most suc- 
cessful and prominent Church workers in Cincin- 
nati. Lewis W. Wolff, who was converted in this 
revival, has since then been a worker and a 
pillar in the Church. Dr. M. T. Carey, who then 
united with the Church, has also since been prom- 
inent, as well as J. H. Clemmer, Esq. The con- 
verts of this revival were removed to various 
parts of the country, and many of them have 
been eminently useful. Several of them became 
preachers of the gospel. 


I was informed that a Frenchman, a Roman 
Catholic, was ill, and was greatly concerned about 
his soul. With young men of my charge I often 
visited him. One day, while engaged in prayer 
with him, he was powerfully converted. He spoke 
of the freedom of the grace of God ; and, while 
he should never again behold the hills and vales 
of his native country, he was going to a more 
beautiful land, where disease and death would 
never come. We ministered to his comfort in 

Ninth Street, Cincinnati. 311 

every way possible. He died in great peace. My 
young men were unremitting in their attention to 
him while he lived, and did all that could be done 
after he was dead. 

An English gentleman, whose clerk he had 
been, and who had been prominent in the great 
" Chartist Movement" in England, noticed the 
loving attention of these young men, and asked : 

"Are they relatives of his?" 

" No," I replied. 

" They are intimate friends then, are they not?" 
" No, they are almost strangers to him." 
Said he : " They act like brothers. Who are 

I replied, " They are .young men connected 
with my Church, and are in deep sympathy with 
me in all such work as this." 

"Are there many of like mind and spirit in 
your Church ?" 

"Very many," I replied. 

"Where is that Church?" he inquired. 

I gave him the location. Said he : 

" I have been living near it. I supposed that 
Christ had left all the Churches in this city; but 
if there is such a Church as you represent, and it 
is above ground, I will find it." 

"Come and see," said I. 

On the next Sunday he was present with his 
wife and two lady members of his family. In a 
few weeks they united with us, rejoicing that they 
had found a Church that cared for the sick, the 
suffering, and the poor. 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

"In the year 1855, a fearful mob — the great 
" Know-Nothing" mob — had possession of the city 
for three days and nights. Civil authorities were 
utterly powerless. At least ten thousand men 
rushed to deeds of violence, past my house, in a 
body. I had occasion to visit a Brother Anderson, 
an aged and venerable member of my charge, near 
Vine Street, across the canal. Just as I was cross- 
ing the canal, I met Dr. Asbury Lowrey. The 
Germans on one side of the canal, and the Amer- 
icans on the other, began to fire at each other. 
The bullets whistled all around us, and we were 
compelled to flee to a place of safety. Many were 
wounded, and a few were killed. The mob ex- 
pended its fury at the end of three days, and 
people resumed their usual occupations. 


The same year the National Anti-slavery So- 
ciety held its annual session in the Mechanics' In- 
stitute in Cincinnati. It was largely represented 
by delegates of every shade of opinion, from all 
parts of the North. I attended it as a spectator. 
It was at once apparent that infidels were present 
in large numbers, and were determined to obtain 
control of the Convention. William H. Burleigh, 
of New York, Lucy Stone, Fred. Douglass, J. M. 
Langston, and the Rev. John Rankin, of Ripley, 
Ohio, father of the " Anti-slavery Movement," were 

The Bible was spurned by some of the speak- 
ers ; the Churches were traduced ; Christian min- 

Ninth Street, Cincinnati. 


isters abused, and all who differed from them, 
roundly denounced. A malignant spirit seemed to 
govern the Convention. The Constitution of. the 
United States was pronounced u a covenant with 
death and an agreement with hell." It was evident 
that those who entertained more conservative ideas 
must either capture the Convention or withdraw 
from it. 

In this crisis the venerable philanthropist, 
Rev. John Rankin, of Ripley, Ohio, arose, and at 
once secured the respectful attention of the Con- 
vention. He stood there as God's loyal servant, a 
lover and defender of the Bible, and a friend of 
the Church with all her faults. He also defended 
the Constitution of the United States, when prop- 
erly interpreted. This was the first check that 
these disorganizers received. Their program was 

At once, the world-renowned colored man, 
Frederick Douglass, arose. The infidel clan sup- 
posed, as a matter of course, that he would train 
in their band, and promote their dangerous scheme ; 
and the conservative party feared as much. Doug- 
lass began by saying: 

"While I was slave, and after I made my es- 
cape from slavery, for some years, I was a believer 
in the Christian religion. I reverenced the Church, 
loved the Bible, and respected the Constitution of 
the United States. My heart was then filled with 
love to God, and love for my race as broad as hu- 
manity itself ; but after mingling with a number 
of gentlemen connected with the anti-slavery cause, 

314 Bringing the Sheaves. 

and hearing their bitter and vindictive speeches, I 
began to think as I had never thought, and to feel 
as I had never felt before, and I was soon in har- 
mony with them. 

4 'Slavery was in the Church, and the Church 
insisted that I should be enslaved, and I denounced 
the Churches of all denominations. The Bible 
seemed to favor slavery, and I denounced the Bible 
as a revelation of God's word to men. I again 
read the Constitution of the United States, and I 
believed that it favored slavery, and I became the 
foe of the Constitution and of the country of which 
I was a citizen. Then I thought of God and his 
providence, and all, to my darkened imagination, 
seemed to favor slavery ; and I became, practically, 
an atheist. My heart became as cold as an ice- 
berg. The religious fervor which had once in- 
spired me in my addresses left me, and I found 
myself stripped of almost every qualification for a 
general reformer. A midnight darkness settled 
upon me, and I was miserable beyond description, 
and had no heart to labor for humanity as I had 
done before. I said to myself, 'Why is this?' 

" I soon found that, in forsaking the Church and 
denouncing the Bible and the Constitution of the 
land, I had lost almost everything that was worth 
having on earth. I went back to the Church, 
and, with all her faults, I found that she was the 
best friend I ever had. I returned to prayer, which 
for a time I had neglected, and to the religious 
services of the Church, and soon ascertained the 
source of my former strength. I became satisfied 

Ninth Strket, Cincinnati. 315 

of the truth of the Bible, and that the Christian 
religion is the only hope of humanity. I again 
kneeled at the feet of the 'Crucified;' sought his 
help and his blessing. The love which I had felt 
for Christ and humanity in other days returned. 
The Bible, when properly read and interpreted, is 
the best charter of human freedom to be found in 
the world. The Constitution of the United States 
is the best political document in existence. The 
word 'slave' is not found it. It is found in the 
constitution of the State of Connecticut, where the 
citizens are black republicans ; but there is no such 
stain upon the Constitution of our country. 

"To-day I am loyal, and shall be to the end of 
my life, to this great charter of American liberty. 
And now, to my infidel friends, who have so bit- 
terly denounced all these facts, which are the chief 
element of our power, I desire to state, here in my 
place, that no man can be, for any length of time, 
a successful reformer whose heart is not warmed 
and whose arm is not nerved by the love of the 
Iyord Jesus, who bore the sins and sufferings of hu- 
manity in his own body upon the cross. L,et us 
cherish this love, that it may animate our speeches 
and our writings ; let it pervade our Conventions ; 
let it be believed by the great body of anti-slavery 
men and women in this country, and it will not be 
long until the chains of every slave will be broken, 
and human liberty will prevail throughout this 
continent and throughout the world." 

The effect of this speech was electrical. The 
infidels left the Convention, and then true anti- 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

slavery men obtained a victory, the effect of which 
lives to-day. 


A slave-woman named Peggy, with an infant 
child in her arms, who was being carried to the 
South on a steamer, endeavored to escape, but was 
caught by her pursuers ; and when she found that 
she was doomed to hopeless slavery, she looked 
upon her infant child, and determined that it should 
never share her fate. She slew it, to save it from 
slavery. The whole country was shocked by this 
event. She was arrested under the law of Ohio for 
murder, and tried at the court-house. Some of the 
ablest lawyers of the West were engaged in the 
case. They hoped, if she could be convicted, that 
she might be sent to the penitentiary of Ohio, and 
thus escape slavery; but she was acquitted. 

I shall never forget how she appeared when she 
was taken back to the boat to be sent South. Hun- 
dreds, almost thousands, of colored people followed 
her there. A mob seemed inevitable ; but she was 
placed on board a steamer in spite of all. She, no 
doubt, has ere this joined her infant child in an- 
other world. 

This, with many other events, intensified the 
feeling which existed between the North and the 
South, and hastened the terrible war which, for five 
years, drenched our Nation in blood. 

One day a gentleman, distinguished in his pro- 
fession as a sculptor, a man of intelligence, with a 
noble, Christian wife and loving children, but who 
had become the victim of intemperance, came to 

Ninth Street, Cincinnati. 317 

my house. I had labored for his salvation, and 
hoped to succeed. He was not then intoxicated. 

"I have called to ask a favor," said he; (< I shall 
not be in the city to-morrow; will you visit my 
family in the morning, between nine and ten 
o'clock ? My wife will desire to see you at that 
time. You will then know the reason why I make 
the request." 

I promised him I would. I was just about to 
go to prayer-meeting, and asked him if he would 
not walk as far as the corner of Eighth and Race 
Streets. He did so. When Ave reached the park 
he paused at a lamp-post, and, looking me straight 
in the face, said : 

" With all my faults, hitherto, I have been 
honest ; but I have lied to you. I will tell you the 
truth. When to-morrow comes I shall be in eter- 
nity. I will commit suicide before to-morrow morn- 
ing. I mean it ! I supposed my wife would ascer- 
tain the fact about that time, and that is the reason 
I desired you to be present." 

I took him by the arm and expostulated with 
him. He said : 

" It is no use ; my mind is made up. I am 
sober ;" and in a moment he darted from me, and 
was out of sight. 

I went to the prayer-meeting, stated the man's 
case, and asked the congregation to kneel with me 
and pray that God might, in some way, avert the 
crime, and save this man from his desperate reso- 
lution. While we were upon our knees we heard, 
a square or two away, the report of a pistol. We 

318 Bringing the Sheaves. 

remained upon our knees for a time — perhaps fif- 
teen minutes — and while we were still engaged in 
prayer he came into the room and kneeled down 
near where I was. We prayed for him, and I 
believe he was a sincere penitent. The next year 
he was happily converted and united with the 
Church. He was saved as a brand out of the fire. 


At this time prayer-meetings were held in pri- 
vate houses with the very best results. They were 
usually led by laymen. There was a freedom about 
them which did not belong to the public prayer- 

It so happened that Colonel C, a Methodist of 
many years' standing, was appointed to lead one 
of these meetings. The colonel would sometimes 
mistrust his brethren. The prayer-meeting was 
held in a prominent residence with double parlors, 
which would seat a large number of persons. This 
evening the meeting was well attended. Colonel 
C. stood at a table, adjusted his glasses, and an- 
nounced a favorite hymn, which he began to read ; 
but he paused for a moment, and then sat down. 
The people knew no cause for this, and a Brother F. 
begged him to proceed. 

He arose again and began to read ; but casting 
his eye toward the other end of the parlor, he again 
sat down. For some time he remained, and Brother 
F. approached him and said: 

" Colonel, do proceed." 

" I will not," he answered, " and I have sufh- 

Ninth Street, Cincinnati. 319 

cient reasons for refusing. I have been grossly 
insulted. A man with dark complexion and with 
glasses, arose the very moment I arose, and began 
to do just as I was doing. It was mockery, and I 
am not going to be the victim of such ridicule in 
the prayer-meeting. When I arose the second 
time, he arose also, in the same manner, and acted as 
I acted, and he did it the third time. It is too much, 
and nothing will induce me to attempt it again." 

Brother F. said : " Colonel, just pause a moment 
and think. Do you see that large mirror in the other 
end of the room? It was your own likeness you saw." 

How often we are overwhelmed with the sight 
of our own likenesses, in many respects ! 

In May, 1856, the General Conference convened 
in Indianapolis. At the especial request of the 
Official Board, I attended — the first that I had ever 
seen. I was almost awed. At once this great 
body commanded my respect and confidence. I 
had the highest reverence for the Board of Bishops, 
as well as the ministers of the Conference. Bishops 
Waugh, Morris, Janes, Scott, Simpson, Baker, and 
Ames were all present. There I beheld, for the 
first time, Peter Cartwright, George Peck, Jesse T. 
Peck, Freeborn G. Hibbard, and a host of other 
heroes of Methodism. 

When I entered the Conference, that chapter 
in the Discipline providing for the education and 
training of children was being read for the first 
time, by the Rev. F. G. Hibbard. In its favor he 
made a remarkable address, giving an account of 
his early conversion, and the manner in which the 

320 Bringing the Sheaves. 

Church had neglected him ; and how the conscious- 
ness of this neglect and the bitter remembrances 
had haunted him from that time until now ; and 
in the most touching manner he read the chapter 
in our Book of Discipline for the training of the 
generation of children who were yet to be brought 
into the Church. Just as he closed, a wonderful 
baptism of the Holy Spirit came upon the assembly. 
All the Board of Bishops and the ministers of the 
Conference, as well as the spectators present, were 
evidently bathed in tears. God that day set his seal 
upon the law of the General Conference regarding 
the religious training of children. 

I spent a few days, which to me were the 
brightest of my life, in listening to the proceedings 
of the Conference. I was enabled to procure a 
number of ministers to fill my pulpit during the 
session. Among these were Dr. John McClintock, 
John A. Collins, Henry Sheer, Dr. Parks, of New 
Jersey, and Dr. B. N. Brown, of Baltimore Con- 
ference, They preached sermons of great power 
and influence. The representatives of the British 
Conference visited Cincinnati, and I spent nearly 
two days in accompanying them and showing them 
around the city. To me this was a great privilege, 
for they were men of remarkable conversational 


The General Conference of the African Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church held its session in Cincin- 
nati. I was present a number of times. It was 

Ninth Street, Cincinnati. 321 

struggling with several perplexing questions. Some 
of these involved the administration of their bish- 
ops, and there was a disposition to handle them 
without gloves. They indulged in personal con- 
test to an unwarrantable extent. There were a few 
able debaters, one of whom, Dr. Bias, greatly re- 
sembled Dr. J. M. Buckley. A. W. Wayman, the 
secretary of the Conference, afterwards elected a 
bishop, was almost cruel in assailing one of the 
bishops who was supposed to be guilty of mal- 
administration. Dr. Bias leaped to his feet and 
cried out, addressing Bishop Willis Nazery, who 
was in the chair : 

" Bishop, I charge Brother Wayman with act- 
ing the part of Absalom." 

Wayman, greatly excited, arose and said: "I 
want to know what Dr. Bias means in saying that 
I am acting the part of Absalom." 

Dr. Bias replied : "I mean, sir, that he is seek- 
ing his father's place before his father is dead." 

The insinuation was perfectly understood by 
the members. They never voted or legislated very 
intelligently until they were intensely excited. The 
result of their Conference business was greatly to 
their credit. 

George W. Walker visited me one day in the 
city while he was presiding elder of Hillsboro Dis- 
trict. As his vote on the slave question had been 
somewhat criticised, he gave me his reasons for his 
action on this and other exciting questions which 

322 Bringing the Sheaves. 

came before the Conference. The substance of 
this conversation will be found in his life, pub- 
lished by Maxwell P. Gaddis. 

He was greatly interested in the prosperity of 
the Church and the cause of Christ all over the 
world. He was noble and dignified in his per- 
sonal appearance, and commanded attention and 
respect everywhere. As we sat at the table, I re- 
marked to him : 

" Brother Walker, you are older than I am. I 
almost envy you whenever I see you. You look 
as if you would be strong and vigorous long after I 
am moldering in the grave." 

He sighed and said: "Brother Fee, like other 
friends, you do not know me. There are in me 
the symptoms of failing health; these admonish 
me that my work on earth will be brief." 

I said : " O no, that can not be ! I shall be in 
heaven long before you arrive." 

But he replied, "O no, my brother, it will not 
be so." 

He had to conduct a quarterly-meeting at Wil- 
mington, and was compelled to leave immediately 
after dinner. I accompanied him to the Little 
Miami Railroad Depot, carrying his satchel. When 
within ten paces of the train the bell rang, and it 
started. He exclaimed: "Just too late!" I re- 
plied : " O no ! Run ! I will bring your valise." 

He did so. The conductor caught him and 
helped him on board, and took the valise. As the 
train moved on, I ran after with his cane. He took 
it, bowed, and I heard him say, " Good-bye, God 

Ninth Street, Cincinnati. 323 

bless you !" and I saw him no more. Two weeks 
later his labors were ended, and he was with God. 
A "prince in Israel" fell when he died. 

My labor in Nrnth Street Station — now Trin- 
ity — was one of the most pleasant of my life. The 
wonderful love the people of that charge manifested 
toward me almost overwhelmed me. Hundreds 
had been converted, and the congregation had be- 
come large. The spirit of enterprise was among 
them, and the determination was then formed to 
build a new church edifice on the site of the old 
one. In a little mote than two years afterwards 
this was accomplished; and the building now 
standing is a monument of the enterprise of 
that noble body of ministers, with Bishop Clark 
at their head, who did so much to promote Meth- 
odism in Cincinnati. It was during my pastorate 
at this Church that our oldest living son, Joseph 
Arthur Fee, was born. I never received more lov- 
ing evidence of appreciation in any charge in the 
last fifty years, than I received from the members 
and friends of Ninth Street congregaation. 


As soon as I entered upon my work in Cincin- 
nati, I regarded with deep interest, the multitudes 
of people who thronged the streets, especially on 
the Sabbath. Large numbers of these seldom, if 
ever, entered any place of worship. The mission- 
ary spirit, which had animated me from the com- 
mencement of my ministry, was aroused afresh 
within me. 


Bringing the: Sheaves. 

Evangelical ministers of the city had a meeting 
each week. It convened in my study, and I was 
elected secretary. I held this position for two 
years. It was made my duty to record the substance 
of the remarks made in all important discussions. 
The subject of evangelism in the city was almost 
constantly before the Preachers' Meeting. Its im- 
portance engaged the minds and hearts of the min- 
isters then, almost as much as it does now. It was 
decided to inaugurate a system of street preaching. 
This was to be extended all over the city, and we 
were to practice it in the immediate vicinity of our 

Dr. Storrs, of the Congregational Church, and 
myself were appointed to canvass our part of the 
city. We began on Sunday morning, on the cor- 
ner of Fifth and Vine Sreets. We had no singers 
with us, and at first found it difficult to secure an 
audience. Dr. Storrs began to address the few 
who gathered around us, who were principally 
boatmen. He frankly confessed that he did not 
know how to do it. Supposing that he must adapt 
himself to the condition of his audience, and being 
an Eastern man, he thought that he must descend 
very low in order to reach the capacity of these 
Western men, especially river men. They soon 
began to laugh, and said they were not the "green- 
ies " he took them for. I knew at once that he 
had mistaken the character of his audience, but 
could not remedy it. The few who were not 
peculiarly anxious to witness the " fun," as they 
called it, retired. The Doctor became discouraged, 

Ninth Strket, Cincinnati. 325 

and frankly stated that he had no qualifications 
whatever for this work; and, as I was a West- 
ern man, he handed it over to me. I did the 
best I could, and before I closed I had quite a con- 
gregation. Dr. Storrs, so far as I know, never 
made another attempt at street preaching. I have 
kept it up from that day to this, wherever I have 
had an opportunity. I visited market-houses, hos- 
pitals, and prisons. Before I left the city my ac- 
quaintance was rather large, and my work was ex- 

One day I made an appointment in Wade 
Street Market. The singing soon attracted atten- 
tion. A number of German Methodists were 
there, and they sang with a will. Just before I 
began, two men, each armed with a stout hickory 
club, who had evidently been drinking, took their 
position near me. One of them had been but re- 
cently a member of the City Council, but was now 
captain of the chain-gang. Evidently, his political 
standing was not in the ascendant. He intro- 
duced himself to me as captain of the chain-gang ; 
told me that he had a Methodist wife ; that he 
respected me, "and was there to see fair play; that he 
knew that threats had been made to break up the 
meeting. He then introduced me to his compan- 
ion, whom he indorsed as a man of eminent ability, 
and capable of protecting me in my work. They 
both presented their hickory clubs and their stal- 
wart arms, as proof that they were equal to any 
emergency. I thanked them for their kind in- 
tentions; but informed them that I hoped there 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

would be no need for the intervention of clubs or 
fists in order to procure protection. 

A large crowd was soon present. The toughs 
of Cincinnati were there, especially those of the 
West End ; but the singing awed them, and I had 
but little difficulty in securing a respectful hearing. 

In the midst of my sermon, a carriage was driven 
up, and, to my surprise and pleasure, that wonder- 
ful preacher, George W. Maley, as quaint as he well 
could be, the idol of the popular assembly at that 
time, alighted from the carriage, and made his way 
to the block where I stood. I knew him at once, 
and said: 

"It affords me great pleasure to see the friend 
of my boyhood, the friend of my parents and my 
grandparents, the Rev. George W. Maley, in this 
audience. You want to hear him, so do I." 

Without another word I extended my hand, 
and with considerable assistance he stood in my 
place on the biock, and began to speak in his in- 
imitable way. 

" My friends," said he, " as I was coming along 
in my chariot from the Home of the Friendless, I 
heard a voice not unfamiliar nor unmusical. My 
charioteer called a halt, and I alighted and saw 
that it was my old friend, W. I. Fee, of Clermont 
County, who had often fed and curried my horse in 
the days of his boyhood ; and I fed his grandfather 
and his grandmother, his father and his mother 
with the Bread of Life. He is a graduate of old 
Augusta College. I led him in class when he 
was a timid boy. God has called him to preach, 

Ninth Street, Cincinnati. 327 

and hundreds of souls are being led to Christ 
through his ministration. I am glad to welcome 
him to Cincinnati, and to commend him to the 
confidence of everybody." 

The gentlemen of the hickory clubs gave many 
a significant glance toward the roughs who were 
there to break up the meeting. By this time an 
immense audience was present. The saloons were 
around us, and their patrons were in the audience. 
Mr. Maley cast his eye across the street and soon 
took in the situation, as he only could do. In his 
quaint way he said : 

" I am not going to preach nor exhort this 
afternoon, but I am going to hold an auction, and 
I want you all to get ready to bid. There is 
going to be a sale this afternoon, of free salvation. 
Who bids? Make a bid, gentlemen ! Free salva- 
tion just a-going, going, going ! Who bids? Re- 
member gentlemen, it is free ; not like the beef- 
steak, and the porksteak, and the mutton-chops 
"that hang on the hooks, at ten cents a pound ; no, 
not like all that, but free salvation without money 
and without price. Will nobody bid ? You whisky- 
sellers over there may look askant, but who cares ! 
The gospel will triumph until it will sweep all 
over the land, and Methodism will take this 
country in spite of whisky-sellers or the devil." 

Turning to me, he inquired, "What is it that 
will perch upon our banners ?" 

I replied, "Victory." 

"That's the word," said he; and the captain 
of the chain-gang called out, " I knew Brother 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

Fee could tell you !" and there was a general 

Then he told of his wonderful conversion, and 
described the day when the Americans, the Ger- 
mans, the Irish, the black, the white, the rich, and 
the poor would all stand together, " washed and 
made white in the blood of the Lamb." He then 
sang his favorite song, as he only could sing: 

"And" we will walk around Jerusalem when we arrive at 

He shook hands with everybody within his 
reach. The Germans began to shout and the 
Americans joined them, and there was an old- 
fashioned revival scene in Wade Street market. 

Eternity only will reveal the good done in the 
meetings held on the streets of Cincinnati, and in 
the market-houses and on the public landing. 
Many a one who came to laugh, remained to 
pray. I never felt that I was doing a more Christ- 
like work, than I did when I was at these meetings. 


A gentleman about sixty-five years of age 
came to my house with a very sad and sorrowful 
countenance. He said to me : 
l "I have come to make a confession. I am a 

member of your Church. I am a ruined man ! 
For many years I have been faithful, but have 

been mingling recently, in politics. Judge , 

a few days ago, when I expressed my appreciation 
of his labors on my behalf, set before me a glass 
of brandy, begging me to drink. I declined, but 

Ninth Street, Cincinnati. 329 

he urged me again and again. At last I yielded 
and became drunk ; for I had been, several years 
before, subject to fits of drunkenness, and it was 
like touching a match to a magazine of powder.. 
I have . disgraced my wife and children, and dis- 
graced myself, and you can do nothing now but 
expel me from the Church which I have dishon- 
ored, and leave me to my fate." 

I returned: u O no! I shall pray and labor 
for your salvation more earnestly than I have ever 
done. Brother H., trust the Church. The Lord 
will have mercy upon your soul, and the Church 
will receive you. Forsake your politics and trust 
to God, and the Church will bear with you. I will 
see the Official Board and report as soon as I can." 

I did so. They agreed to bear with and to for- 
give him. I told him so, and he was greatly re- 
joiced. When I left him he said : 

" Say to the brethren, I thank them, and if they 
ever hear that I have been intoxicated again, they 
will understand that I am dead, and that I am 

For some time he was faithful, and gave, as 
we saw it, the strongest assurance that he was 

One morning I took up a paper, and the first 
thing I saw, was the head-line, "An aged man 
throws himself into the canal." I read the item, 
and, to my utter horror, I found it was Mr. H. I 
at once hastened to the house, and there I met the 
saddest scene upon which my eyes ever looked. 
There was the victim of rum, whom I had seen so 

33° Bringing the; Sheavks. 

recently in the house of God, and heard him speak 
with such confidence of his hopes of heaven. The 
same judge had again invited and urged him to 
drink. He was the son of an old Methodist. He 
ruined this poor man, and he, with his unfortunate 
victim, now fills a drunkard's grave. 

The afternoon of his tragic death he was very 
low-spirited. He walked across the room toward 
the clock ; for the first time in its history, it had 
stopped, although it had not run down. He ex- 
amined it, and said to his wife, " That means a 
death in our family;" and overwhelmed with this 
superstitious idea, he met with this terrible fate. 
Avoid all association with these corrupt city pol- 
iticians, for " their steps take hold upon hell." 


One of the most noted actors of the Variety 
Theater on Vine Street, died, and the funeral 
service was to take place in the guild-hall of the 
theater, one of the most corrupt and ruinous re- 
sorts in the city of Cincinnati. Multitudes, at this 
time, were thronging to this building. It had no 
respectability, even among places of amusement. 
I was invited to officiate at the funeral. Those 
who waited upon me said: 

" Poor fellow ! With all his faults, he had 
many virtues, and we all respected him. He de- 
serves a decent burial." 

I agreed to go. The splendid hall was crowded 
with men and women. I stood at one end of it, 
where I was able to look into the face of almost 

Ninth Street, Cincinnati. 331 

every one in the audience. I doubted then, as I 
do now, whether there was one virtuous man or 
woman in that apartment. They all bore the 
marks of guilt, of sin, and of shame. I was ap- 
palled. What could I do ? What could I say? It 
looked to me as if death and hell had given up. 
their dead. Then I asked myself, "What would 
Jesus do amid such scenes as this?" Then the 
words of the Savior came to my mind : " For the 
Son of man is come to seek and to save that 
which was lost." 

I began to speak of the wonderful love of Him 
who lived, labored, suffered, and died for human- 
ity. An impression was being made, and hearts 
not often moved, and eyes unused to weeping, 
gave evidence that the Holy Spirit was working 
upon that mass of iniquity. As an illustration of 
the love of the L,ord Jesus Christ, I mentioned the 
love of mother ; the brightest illustration of the 
love which earth had to offer. When the thought 
of mother, home, and heaven were brought up 
with a vividness which I had never experienced 
before, the scene in the congregation was inde- 
scribable. Men cried aloud and women shrieked 
until my voice was drowned. I had invited them 
to Christ, and had told them of his wonderful love, 
that no matter what society might do or say, there 
was, for each and all of them, an open door which 
no man could shut against them. 

They took their leave, and the strange proces- 
sion of attendants moved on to the city of the 
dead. Few live who stood around that open 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

grave ; but where will they spend eternity ? I felt 
more that day, I believe, of the wonderful love of 
Jesus for the lost and wretched, and what is re- 
garded as hopeless humanity, than I had ever felt 
before; and the words, "Whosoever will, let him 
take the water of life freely," never seemed sweeter 
to me than they did that day. 


I was sent for one day to baptize the child of 
a very poor woman, thought to be dying. When 
I reached the room I found that the floor was wet, 
for it had just been mopped. The child lay in a 
cradle. The lady met me, and said : 

" O sir, I did wrong to mop the floor, but I 
could not help it ; there was a horrid stench in 
the room. An hour ago my husband, who died of 
smallpox, was carried out. I felt that my child 
must be baptized or I would go crazy." 

It was then in convulsions. I thought of my- 
self, thought of my wife and children, and of the 
work in which I was engaged, and said, " What 
shall I do?" A strange impression came to me 
that I must pray for that woman and child, and 
baptize it. I did so ; and as I kneeled upon that 
wet floor, I pleaded with God for that sorrowing 
woman and that dying child. I baptized it in the 
name of the Trinity. I then went at once to see 
Dr. C. G. Comegys, who re-vaccinated me and all- 
my family. I changed my clothing and went 
about my work, feeling that I had done my duty 
as I saw it ; but for doing it I was censured. The 

Ninth Street, Cincinnati. 333 

doctor thought I had symptoms of varioloid in a 
few days, but they were slight. None of my 
family or friends took the disease. 

With all the light I now have, I can not see 
that I ought to have done otherwise. In five min- 
utes after I left, the disease broke out on the 
child, and its life was saved. 


A very respectable lady visited me one day, a 
wife and mother. She informed me that she was 
laboring night and day to support herself and chil- 
dren; that her husband was unworthy of her confi- 
dence; that he stole the money that she had laid 
up to pay her rent, and the like, and expended it 
in the worst places of resort in that city; and that 
some of his associates were members of my Church, 
which I found to be true, and, upon an investiga- 
tion of their cases, they were immediately ex- 
pelled. This gave great offense. 

A few days afterwards the husband visited me, 
and asked me if his wife had been there, giving me 
his name. 

I replied, " Yes." 

/'What did she say to you?" he asked. 

I had invited him into the parlor, but he re- 
fused to enter my house. He had a large hickory 
cane in his hand, and I knew he meant mischief. 
I remembered at that moment that there was a 
large hickory club standing in the hall, which I 
took in my hand, and walked out in a half-menac- 
ing attitude, and faced him, ready to defend my- 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

self against what I knew to be an attack. I de- 
clined to answer his question. He then demanded 
it as a husband, but I refused to yield. Said he, 

"Did you advise her to leave me?" 

"All I have to say to that," I replied, "is, if I 
were in her place I would not live with you one 
hour. You are unworthy the respect and love of 
such a woman as I learn your wife is." 

Then, looking him in the face, with my cane 
lifted over him, I said : 

"Can it be that you are such a scoundrel as 
you are represented to be?" 

He trembled from head to foot, and came down 
like a whipped spaniel, and said, "Yes, I am." 
Then he begged and pleaded with me to persuade 
his wife to live with him again. 

I turned away from him, saying: "I can only 
commend you to God and your conscience, and you 
mustanswerto bothfor the lifeyouhave been living." 

I saw him no more ; so that all the threats he 
had previously made, amounted to nothing. 


One afternoon I called at the house of a Mr. 
Scott, from Ireland. He had been a very decided 
Wesleyan Methodist in the old country ; but, like 
many others who come to our shores, he failed to 
identify himself with any denomination in America, 
and in a few years became indifferent, and was un- 
known as a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. I 
talked with him, and besought him to return to 
God.- After a time he united with the Church. 

Ninth Street, Cincinnati. 


He had several daughters that afterwards be- 
came members at the Ninth Street Church, and 
later at Wesley Chapel. One of these daughters is 
now the wife of a devoted, useful minister. An- 
other daughter is engaged in missionary work, and 
lor years has been a faithful laborer in India. We 
little know the result of one visit, or one con- 

My associations in the pastorate in Cincinnati 
at that time were of the most agreeable character. 
Among my fellow ministers might be named As- 
bury Lowrey, Jonathan F. Conrey, Robert O. Spen- 
cer, William S, Morrow, and William Herr, my 
presiding elder. The friends that I made while 
there are embalmed in my memory forever. 


DAYTON. 1856-1858. 

AT the earnest request of the presiding elder, 
Michael Marlay, of Dayton District, and the 
concurrent request of the Official Board, I was 
appointed, in 1856 to Wesley Chapel, now Grace 
Church, Dayton, O. Outside of Cincinnati, this 
was the most prominent charge in the Conference. 
It was a pewed church, lenowned for its wealth 
and intelligence. I was only reconciled to go be- 
cause it was an article of faith with me that my 
appointments were in harmony with God's provi- 
dence, inasmuch as I did not seek them directly or 
indirectly, and if mistakes occurred they would 
not lie at my door. 

The Church, I learned, was spiritually at a 
very low ebb. The retiring pastor favored a for- 
mal religion. He told his people that preaching 
and the sacrament were about all that should claim 
their serious and earnest attention. He ultimately 
entered the ministry of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church, but proved a sad failure. It pains me to 
make this statement, for our personal relations were 
of the kindest character. I give it as a note of warn- 
ing to others who become weary of the special 
work of a pastor and ministry in the Methodist 
Episcopal Church. To correct the errors of his 
pastorate gave me some of the hardest work I 



have ever done. What to do, and how to do it, 
were the problems which I tried to solve for many- 
weary months. 

Before my appointment was publicly made, 
M. P. Gaddis, one of the dearest friends I ever had, 
announced to the people that I was to be their pas- 
tor for the ensuing year, and that now they would 
have a revival of religion. It was a proof of his 
confidence and affection for me ; but I soon found 
that, while they were looking for a revival of relig- 
ion, they were looking, not to God, but to me. 
This was disheartening, and .God only knows the 
struggle which it cost me ; but he overruled all for 
my good and the good of his cause. What the 
effect was publicly, beyond this, I know not. 

I think that I was never more badly frightened 
in my life than I was when I preached my intro- 
ductory sermon. My effort appeared so lame, and 
my embarrassment was so great, that I had seem- 
ingly wounded the cause which I was laboring to 
represent. The people, I think, pitied me and 
sympathized with me. When the benediction was 
pronounced, that sainted man, Father Smith, came 
up the aisle toward me with uplifted hands, saying: 
"We have 'a weeping Jeremiah' with us once 
more ;" and he praised the L,ord for what he felt 
that day. 

Dr. Marlay said to me : 

"You have no cause to be ashamed of that ser- 
mon. You are not hurt, nor is anybody else hurt. 
God will be with you, and take care of his cause." 

I righted up in a little while, like a ship which 



Bringing the Sheaves. 

had been driven by the storm among the breakers, 
and very nearly wrecked, and began my two 
years' work in Dayton. I found it necessary to 
give myself much to prayer and examination. I 
had learned by this time that no two charges are 
alike ; that every new charge involves new respon- 
sibilities, and requires a peculiar kind of moral 
training as a preparation for success. I deeply- 
felt my insufficiency for the work. 

About this time I met a former pastor of the 
charge. He said to me : 

"Have you learned the ' ropes?' " 

I replied, " No." 

"How, then, do you expect to succeed?" he 

I answered: "If God does not help me, I am 
undone. I never have used such appliances, and I 
never will." 

He shook his head significantly, and left me. 

In a very short time I had visited most of the 
members, and, wherever practicable, I prayed with 
the family. This rather surprised them, and yet 
was not unwelcome. They were in the midst of 
a fearful political excitement. Lewis D. Camp- 
bell and Clement L,. Vallandigham were candi- 
dates for Congress. The contest was close, and 
great bitterness was encountered. Many Church 
members had been induced to make bets on the 
result, and the effect of this was most demoralizing. 

After the public excitement abated, and society 
moved on its course, I found that there had been a 
disturbance in the choir, which still continued. A 



committee was appointed by the Official Board to 
"repair the choir" and make frequent reports. 
What to do I scarcely knew. Plain, practical, 
heart- searching sermons were needed, but this 
must be done with great prudence. It would not 
be safe to hammer frozen steel. I soon began to 
preach such sermons. In a few weeks the effect 
began to appear, and I was approached by leading 
members of the Church on the subject of my 
preaching. One party said it would give the 
people a very bad opinion of the Church, and they 
would suffer loss on that account. Another said 
that I ought to be still plainer. A third said : 

4 'This is the plainest preaching I have heard 
in twenty years in this Church, and it cuts me to 
the quick ; but I must confess that it is the most 
encouraging preaching I ever heard." 

One day I was in a lawyer's office. A number 
of unconverted persons were there, two of whom 
were lawyers. One, an official member, began to 
upbraid me for my preaching. He said : 

"You are prejudiced against our Church and 
its members. You never stop to think how out- 
siders will be impressed by such preaching as you 
are giving us. You will never build up a congre- 
gation in that way." 

I replied that I was impelled by a sense of duty; 
that I endeavored to do it in the spirit of love ; that 
I was responsible to God for what I was doing, and 
must leave the matter with him. An influential 
gentleman present remarked : 

"I have been at service every Sabbath since 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

your new minister came, and as long as he remains 
I shall be a regular attendant. He is an honest 
man, and I will stand by him, and shall aid and 
support him to the extent of my ability." 

Another promised to do the same thing. 

" You ought to congratulate yourselves that you 
have a minister who dares to tell you your faults." 

This was the last time that this brother re- 
proved me for my preaching. Ever after he was 
one of my best friends. I endeavored to do my 
duty in all respects, laboring for the good of all; 
and especially the poor, who were neglected too 
much, as they generally are. 

The Official Board was composed of an unusual 
number of prominent and influential citizens, 
among whom I will name Thomas Parrott, Thomas 
Brown, Dr. H. G. Carey, J. H. Auchey, J. D. 
L,oomas, Vandaver Moler, Joseph Peters, Thomas 
Lewis, F. M. Lease, David Schaffer, Valentine 
Schaffer, Colonel Gillespie, C. C. Keifer, William 
Parrott, S. M. Sullivan, Dr. Frizzell, Thomas Mor- 
rison, Mr. Bell, Dr. Abbey, Mr. Odell, Charles Par- 
rott, Mr. McKinney, Dr. Webster, Dr. Shriver, 
F. Boyer, David Engle. There were others, whose 
names I can not recall. 

The congregation began to increase ; but its re- 
covery from the indifference into which it had 
fallen was painfully slow. Three young men — 
Charles Parrott, Frank Leaman, and Brother 
Mariott — and myself entered into covenant that we 
would meet on each Saturday evening to pray and 
to plan for a revival of God's work in our Church. 



We received encouragement after holding a num- 
ber of meetings. 

One Saturday evening each of us prayed before 
we arose from our knees. There was great ear- 
nestness. One of the young men remarked after 
he arose: 

"I feel that I ought to pray again, and that 
God would bless me if I did." 

He did so, and was greatly blessed. Then 
each of us followed, and was blessed in like man- 
ner. There came to all of us the impression that 
God would commence a revival on the next day, 
and we greatly rejoiced in the prospect. It was 
the joy of faith. 

When Sunday came we were buoyant with 
hope, and believed it to be a day of salvation. I 
appointed a general speaking-meeting at half-past 
two o'clock in the afternoon. A large number 
were present. I told them what God had done for 
us on Saturday night, and that I had a strong faith 
to believe that this was to be a day of revival. 
This declaration astonished them. M. P. Gaddis, 
who resided in Dayton at that time, was wonder- 
fully anxious for my success ; and when I told him 
in the morning what I expected, he thought me 
fanatical. He said: 

" You do n't know the people of Dayton." 

I replied, "I know the L,ord." 

" Why," said he, "if you were to have a revival 
you would have no revival singing, and the revival 
would soon die out without that element." 

"Brother Gaddis," said I, "if revival singing is 

342 Bringing the; Sheaves. 

essential to the revival, and I suppose it is, my 
faith is that God will convert some revival 
singer, and that difficulty will then be out of the 

He said, u We shall see." 

Earnest confessions were made, promises of 
amendment were numerous, and a solemnity rested 
upon those present. Many who were unused to 
weep were bathed in tears. I felt in my own soul 
the power and melting influence of the Holy Spirit. 
I was impressed that I ought to invite seekers to 
come forward for prayer. This had not been done 
for years in that Church. The people were sur- 
prised at my boldness; but my faithful young men 
were all aglow with joy when they heard this an- 
nouncement. In a few minutes some twenty were 
at the altar. The effect was marvelous. Among 
them was a large, noble-looking man from New 
York, who kneeled with his wife and sought for 
mercy. For years he had been a backslider. He 
told me that he had once been active in the Church, 
and bitterly mourned his departure from God. It 
was not long until God reclaimed him wonderfully. 
He sprang to his feet, and told the people what a 
dear Savior he had found. His wife was also con- 
verted; and he began to sing an old-fashioned 
hymn which astonished everybody. Brother Gad- 
dis exclaimed aloud: 

"There, Brother Fee, God has answered your 
prayers and honored your faith by giving you a 

This meeting was followed by a revival at 



which about sixty persons were converted, and my 
New York singer did heroic service ; but it did not 
take that hold upon the great body of members 
which I believed was necessary. I could not rest 
until this was secured, and I labored and prayed 
for it night and day. I was treated with great 
kindness by all. My first year closed under the 
most encouraging auspices. My return was re- 
quested with great unanimity. The heart of the 
entire Church was evidently warmed toward me. 
They began to understand me better and to appre- 
ciate my work. In 1857, Bishop Morris reap- 
pointed me to the charge. On my return I met 
with the most cordial reception, and I began my 
work full of hope. For two months or more I 
struggled night and day for a deep and powerful 
work of revival in that Church. Sometimes I de- 
spaired, and then again I would say: "I will not 
let thee go except thou bless me." This burden 
was upon my soul in all my waking hours, and 
was sometimes the subject of my dreams. After 
a long siege of prayer, one night I slept and 
dreamed that I found myself in the presence 
of my entire membership. We were marching 
toward a mountain many miles away. It was cov- 
ered with shrubbery, in the midst of which was a 
magnificent building, white as marble, and bur- 
nished with gold. We could hear in the distance 
the most ravishing music. We seemed to be ani- 
mated with a common purpose to reach it. The 
road was muddy, and the traveling difficult. I 
found myself almost in the rear. I struggled to 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

advance more rapidly until I almost despaired, 
when something spoke from above and said: 

"Have you done what you could?" 

"I think I have," I replied. 

"Could you not do better?" said the voice. 

"I can try," was my reply; and, making a des- 
perate effort, I increased my speed until almost 
one-half of the membership was behind me. 
While I was congratulating myself on my progress, 
the same voice said : 

"Have you done what you could?" 

I made the same answer, and began to run with 
all my might, and to pass many who had been in 
advance of me previously, rejoicing more and more 
in my progress. The same voice, more forcible 
than ever, said: 

"Have you done what you could?" 

"I think I have," was the reply. 

"Can not you do better still?" 

"I can try," I answered; and, making a last 
desperate effort, I arose from the earth and began 
to fly like a bird in a straight line toward the beau- 
tiful building on the summit of the mountain, and, 
after hovering over it for a few moments, and per- 
forming a few circles, I alighted at its portals, and 
stood there with a joy which must have been akin 
to the joy of heaven. Just then the large proces- 
sion, with which I had been traveling, began to 
arrive, and I welcomed them at the portals as they 
entered. I stood there until every one whom I 
knew had passed into it, and there was a joy in my 
soul that I never felt before, and have never felt since. 



I awakened, and it seemed that I was in a new 
world. I walked out on Third Street that morning 
with a strong faith in God that at last my prayers 
were not in vain. As I was crossing Main Street, 
on Third, the answer came with wonderful impres- 
siveness; and it was attended by a solemn awe 
that made me feel that God was there, and I then 
and there received an assurance that to me was an 
absolute certainty. All doubts vanished, and the 
victory was won, and I was in the arms of my 
Father. We held a revival which was not only a 
surprise to my congregation, but to the people of 
Dayton as well. 

The same week I was visited by Rev. John M. 
L,eavitt, a son of Judge Humphrey H. Leavitt, a 
man of deep piety and devotion to his work. He 
preached for me on Sabbath morning. I confiden- 
tially told him my dream; and, to my astonishment, 
he related it in his sermon to a large congregation, 
and the impression made was of marked character. 
A large number of the members came to me at the 
close, and said: "Did you see me there? Was I 
in that procession?" 

Jonathan F. Conrey was stationed that year at 
Raper Chapel. He was deeply solicitous for a re- 
vival of religion. He did not sympathize with me 
in the faith I had expressed, but proposed that we 
hold meetings together in our respective churches, 
which we did, and a number were converted, prin- 
cipally in Raper Chapel. At the very first meeting 
he said: 

"All the faith I have is in the faith expressed 

346 Bringing the Sheaves. 

by Brother Fee. I can't say that I have any faith 
of my own." 

This fell upon me as it did upon others, like a 
pall of despair. But in spite of all, good was done. 
He thought it best for us to separate, and I agreed 
to it. My faith was not shaken by anything. It 
was supposed that my congregation would not be 
moved by any revival spirit ; but there was faith in 
my soul morning and night. 

The following Sabbath I preached; and while 
there was great solemnity, no one was moved. 
There had never been a revival-meeting held in 
that audience-room. Some said that it would not 
do. I replied that at all hazards I would appoint 
a meeting in the audience-room. They came 
to me and expostulated; but all they could say 
had little, if any, effect. The principal opponent 
of the appointment, who was also the principal 
man in the Church, said: u You will only be 
laughed at for it, and we will all be ashamed." 
But this had no effect. He then went on,— 

" I have been in Dayton longer than you have, 
and I know the people." 

I announced a meeting in the audience-room 
in Wesley Chapel, on Monday evening. To the 
surprise of almost everybody save myself, when the 
time came the house was full, and in a little while 
there was not room for the people. My principal 
opponent came late, and could only find a resting- 
place on the stairway; the seats were all taken. 

I invited seekers to come to the altar. It was 
the first time it had ever been done in that room. 



The first one to come was a prominent young lady, 
the daughter of my distinguished opponent. She 
was soon happily converted, and united with the 
Church. The altar was filled with seekers. My 
prayers were answered, my faith was vindicated; 
and from that hour, as long as I remained in Day- 
ton, I was in the midst of a deep and powerful 
revival interest, and it began to take the very di- 
rection for which I had prayed. It took the 
deepest hold upon the hearts of the members of 
the Church, young and old. 

The interest now began to spread all over the 
city. Most of the Churches felt the melting 
power of the Holy Spirit. Men were being awak- 
ened in every direction. This was about the time 
the "Fulton Street prayer-meeting" was fairly 
under way in New York City; and from that 
sprang the idea of daily prayer-meetings, which 
were held in the principal towns and cities of the 
United States. 

My Church was now the center of this revival 
influence ; and my office, which was in the Church, 
was visited by scores of penitents, with whom I 
labored and prayed as best I could. As I en- 
deavored to lead them to Christ, I may here make 
a general remark that never in all my ministry did 
I receive such a special spiritual qualification to 
enable me to lead seeking souls to Christ as I did 
at this time. I felt as humble and simple-hearted 
as a child. I only sought to know my duty, and I 
was willing to do it. In studying the life,, work, 
and spirit of the L,ord Jesus, this I had ever done. 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

As far as I now remember, there was only one 
Protestant pastor in the city who took no interest 
in the work, and really opposed it. His religion 
was one of form; and many of his congregation 
came to consnlt me abont their souls, and many of 
them were happily converted to God. Among 
these was a young lady, Miss A. P., who had been 
brought up in a prominent Methodist family, and 
most of her relatives were members of that Church. 
Her brother was a worldly man, and preferred the 
formal Church to the Church of his parents, and 
the young lady was induced to go with him. She 
was most deeply convicted of sin, and during the 
revival came to the altar and sought and found the 
"pearl of great price." 

She said to her brother: "I must join some 
Church now. What would you have me to do?" 

He said: 

"If you intend to lead a worldly life, without 
regard to the salvation of your soul, join the 
Church you have attended ; but if you want to save 
your soul, go to the Church of your father and 

She did so, and lived and died in that Church, 
an ornament to the cause she had espoused. 

A young man, a Mr. L., whose uncle was a 
bishop in the Protestant Episcopal Church, came 
to my study and sought a private interview. He 

"I have been confirmed; but I was not con- 



verted at the time, nor have I ever been. My 
pastor does not believe in conversion, and is not in 
sympathy with the work in which you are engaged. 
I did not wish to approach him. I want this inter- 
view to be a private one, and you must not speak 
o£ it to any one unless I give you permission.'* 

I replied, " I will not, without your permission." 

He begged me to lock the door and close the 
window-blinds, so that no one could know that he 
was there. I did so. I conversed with him, and 
found that he was deeply penitent; but the pride 
of his heart stood in his way. We kneeled in 
prayer, and I prayed for him with all my heart, 
and then asked him to pray. He said: 

"I can't pray. I have no book." 

Said I, " Pray without a book." 

"I can't," he replied. 

"You can say, 'God be merciful to me a 
sinner.' " 

After some hesitation he did so, and I said: 
"That's a good prayer; repeat it," and he did 
so, adding several sentences to it, until he laid hold 
upon the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior, and in a 
moment he was converted. He sprang to his feet, 
caught me in his arms, and rejoiced with exceeding 
joy. He ran to the door to get out on the street; 
but the key was in my pocket. He wanted to see 
his father. I told him I would bring his father. 
Just as I opened the door to go out, a young gen- 
tleman from one of the hotels, from Pittsburg, met 
me. He had visited me that morning just before 
the other young man, and I had loaned him 


Bringing the: Sheaves. 

Fletcher's "Address to Seekers of Salvation/' 
The very moment I saw him I knew that he had 
found Christ He fell upon his knees in the hotel 
and began to pray without looking in the book, 
and found salvation in a moment. 

I told him to go into the room and rejoice with 
the other young man who had found Christ. He 
did so while I ran for the first young man's father, 
who came and embraced his son, who was rejoicing 
in the dear Savior he had found. 

That night the first young man arose before 
one thousand people in Clegg's Hall, and related 
this story just as I have related it here. The effect 
was wonderful. 

A mere profession of religion and a union with 
a Church does not necessarily imply a Scriptural 
change of heart. 


As I became better acquainted with my congre- 
gation and their spiritual condition, I found a large 
number who were once happy Christians, but had 
lost the evidence of conversion and the joy of sal- 
vation. They were unwilling to confess to the 
public, and to seek that which they had lost. 
They were not promoters of the revival; they 
rather hindered it. 

To meet this condition of things, I conceived 
the idea of forming a backsliders' class. While 
this was certainly a questionable plan, it seemed 
to meet the case, and I publicly announced it. An 
hour in the evening was appointed for its formation. 



All backsliders who were willing to return to God 
were invited to become members of this class. 
None but backsliders were to be there. 

At the time appointed I found thirty-seven 
adult persons present. Some were there of whose 
departure from God I was not aware ; others were 
known backsliders. I said: 

"Let there be the most perfect freedom here. 
Let each one represent his spiritual condition in his 
own way. We are here to help one another." 

A class-leader was among the number. He 
was the first to speak, and told honestly how he 
had suffered by forsaking God. The others fol- 
lowed one by one, and all promised to lead a new 
life, I enrolled their names upon a class-book. 
The class-leader referred to was appointed leader 
of the class. 

The next evening, with their leader at their 
head, in the presence of a large congregation, they 
came forward and kneeled as penitents at the altar. 
I shall not attempt a description of the scene 
which followed, nor the wonderful manner in 
which the Lord came back to these "wandering 
sheep," nor how others were induced by their ex- 
ample to return also. Most of those who have 
died since then, if not all, have died in the Lord. 

I found a prominent lady, who had been a 
member of the Church on probation for some six 
years, who informed me that she had never been 
baptized, and desired to recerve baptism by immer* 


Bringing the: Sheaves. 

sion. The former minister would not administer 
it. I said to her: 

"So far as I am concerned, I am willing to bap- 
tize you by immersion at any time." 

She deferred having the ceremony performed, 
until finally the day was appointed for the bap- 
tism. After examination before the audience, she 
informed me that her views had changed, and she 
desired to be baptized by sprinkling. \ adminis- 
tered the ordinance in compliance with her wishes, 
and she was ever afterwards satisfied. 


A young man was to be baptized on the same 
day that the lady previously mentioned was bap- 
tized. On examination I said to him : 

"By what mode do you wish to be baptized?" 

He hesitated, and I said: 

"By immersion?" 

He answered, "No." 

"By pouring?" I asked. 

He said, "No." 

"By sprinkling?" 


Said I, "Do you desire to be baptized in any 

He answered, "Yes." But he could not give 
the name of the mode which he wished to have 
used. He wanted to be wet all over; and beyond 
this could tell me nothing. 1 deferted his case 
for a week; but during that time he whipped his 
own mother, and I heard of him no more. 




For four months I had been engaged in meet- 
ings every night. I thought I would rest one Sat- 
urday night. My friends begged me to do this; 
but a strong impression came to me that some 
struggling soul would seek help from me that 
night. I told my family so, and remained in my 
room waiting until near midnight. 

A young lady that was boarding at our house 
answered to a call that was made. A gentleman 
whom she met at the door said that a man and his 
wife were under the deepest conviction at their 
own house, and were praying for mercy, and they 
begged me to come and help them if I could. My 
friend said, "Do n't go;" but I could not hesitate, 
weak though I was. 

I was soon ushered into a fine parlor. There 
kneeled a husband and wife who had been brought 
under religious influence, but had never been con- 
verted. They were pleading for mercy as one 
would plead for his life. A large family Bible lay 
open on a center-table. I looked at it as I stood 
under the light of the lamp which was above it. 
It had been sprinkled all over with the tears of 
these penitents. They had been reading the 
parable of " The Prodigal Son." 

After a short conversation with them, I prayed; 
but midnight came, and they were not yet saved. 
I felt like preaching a little sermon on "The Way 
of Faith ; or, What a Sinner should do in Order to 
be Saved." The motto never seemed so fit to me 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

as that night. It was written out before me in 
lines of living light. 

In a plain and simple way I offered to them 
Christ and his salvation by simple faith in the 
atonement and acceptance of Christ on his own 
terms. It seemed to me I had won, so vivid was 
it to me that they must be instantly converted. 

Looking toward the husband I saw him spring 
to his feet and move toward the place where his 
wife had been kneeling. At the same instant she 
arose converted, and they embraced each other in 
sweeter bonds than they had ever known before. 

The joy of that scene will be bright upon the 
pages of my memory forever. A death-bed scene 
had been the cause of their awakening. An ac- 
quaintance, who had been an advocate of the doc- 
trine of Universalism, was suddenly brought to a 
dying-bed. He felt that it was too late to make 
amendment for the errors of a misspent life. His 
agony of soul was fearful. For him there appeared 
no star of hope. He took a beautiful ring from 
his finger and gave it to his sorrowing wife, and 
said, "My wife, farewell forever!" and died. 


A young man came running to the parsonage 
and told me that a terrible fight had taken place 
between two young men. One of them, he said, 
had been fatally stabbed, and would die in a few 

I ran to the place. The doctors thought the 
case desperate. I endeavored to lead the young 



man to Christ by all the methods of which I was 
master. He made the most solemn promises, 
calling God and the angels to witness that he 
wonld lead a new life and become a Christian at 
once whether he lived or died. After prayer he 
seemed composed and ready for his change, and I 
left him. 

I returned early the next morning. There was 
no crape on the door. I was admitted to his room, 
and he greeted me with a loud laugh, saying: 

"The doctors were mistaken last night. I 
shall get well. I have no further use for you. 
Should I ever need you again, I will send for you." 

I left him, and saw him no more. 

A very prominent gentleman in Dayton, the 
husband of a pious wife, a Mr. G., came to the 
akar a broken-hearted penitent. Great interest 
was taken in him; but he found no relief that 
night. The next night he was at the church 
again, but did not come forward. Every effort to 
induce him to do so failed. He was angry, and 
finally left the church in a rage, denouncing all 
who had taken any interest in him. I was not dis- 
couraged, for I had seen such cases before. 

Wm. H. Fyffe, who had been assisting me for 
several days, and was my guest, retired to my 
home at the close of the meeting. It was quite 
late. I remarked to him that we would sit up 
awhile, for I was quite certain that Mr. G. would 
come some time during the night and ask our help. 
He said he had thought the same thing. We 
agreed that often penitents were most severely 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

cried and discouraged before their conversion. It 
is the last desperate effort upon the part of the 
enemy of their souls to thwart them. While we 
were thus talking the door-bell rang, and I said, 
u There is Mr. G." 

I ran down the stairway and, sure enough, I met 
him. As the light shone in his face, it disclosed one 
of the most sorrowful faces I ever beheld. He was 
a noble, beautiful -looking man, and would attract 
attention among a thousand. He said : 

a O, this is too bad to disturb you when you 
need rest so much!" 

I said: "O no; I am glad to see you! I have 
been looking for you for a half -hour." 

"You have?" said he. 

"Yes," said I. " I knew what was going on, 
and the Lord has sent you here. My wife has 
been at none of the meetings, and I know she will 
enjoy services. I will not receive any apology." 

We talked with him for an hour. As he sat in 
his chair, after we had prayed with him, I beheld 
a sudden change come over his face. Despair was 
gone. Sorrow had fled away. Peace had come. 
But he did not speak. I said to him : 

"Where is your burden now?" 

He smiled and said, "It is gone." 

"What has become of it?" 

"I do n't know. I can't account for it ; but I 
am not converted. Do n't say I am." 

I said : "We will not. We will leave it to you. 
Praise God for any change, and every change which 
may come upon you for the better." 



His face grew bright and brighter ; but he con- 
tinued to say, "Do n't say I am converted." I re- 
peated, "We will not;" and with his face covered 
with smiles, and as happy as he could be, he bade 
me "Good-night," saying, "Don't say I am con- 

The next morning I met him at my gate. 
Said he: 

" I come to tell you that I was converted last 
night, and I knew it; but it did not come as I ex- 
pected, and hence my reluctance to admit it. Tell 
everybody now that I have found Jesus." 

He became the proprietor of one of the leading 
hotels in New York City. He was then doing 
well. I have not heard of him since. 


For three years two prominent citizens had in- 
dulged the bitterest hatred toward each other, and 
had carried deadly weapons for each other. They 
had lost all hope of reconciliation. They were 
prominently connected with Churches in Dayton. 

One of them came to the altar of prayer. His 
convictions were deep and pungent. The great 
question with him was, " Shall I forgive my enemy?" 
The struggle was a fearful one ; but at last he for- 
gave his enemy, and gave himself to Christ, and 
his conversion was one of marvelous interest. His 
whole being was transformed. He was a new 
creature in Jesus Christ. He now loved every- 
body, and his enemies were no exception to the 
rule. The next morning found him on the street, 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

filled with the love which had brought a heaven 
to his soul. 

Almost the first person he met was his late an- 
tagonist. Without thinking, as he said, he ran up 
to him and threw his arms around him, and said: 

"O, K., I have found Jesus, and I am the hap- 
piest man in Dayton!" 

His enemy said: "How happy I am! I con- 
gratulate you. Let us bury the past." 

They were friendly ever afterwards. 


One day a noted skeptic met me, and said : 

" Mr. Fee, you know me, and what I am and 
what I believe." 

" I suppose I do," was the reply. 

" Will you permit me to ask you a question, 
and will you answer it, if it be proper?" 

I said, "Yes." 

" I have heard that Mr. , out in the country, 

has professed conversion in a revival-meeting out 
there. Is it true ?" 

"It is." 

"Have you seen him?" 
"I have." 

" Do you believe that the work, as you see it, 
and from your standpoint, was a deep and genu- 
ine one?" 

I replied: "I do. I think he is truly con- 

" I am rejoiced to hear it," he said. " He has 
owed me a debt of honor for years. Of course, it 



is legally beyond my leach ; but if, as you affirm, 
it is a case of genuine conversion, and if theie be 
any truth in yout lehgion, he will pay that debt." 

The next time 1 saw him, with a pleased ex- 
pression of countenance, he said: " It is all right; 
he has paid that debt." And he left me in a mo- 
ment, to wonder what effect the logic of that case 
would have upon his opinions and his life. 

A Mr. O., one of my official members, promised 
me that he would be at the prayer-meeting one 
evening without fail. I thought it important that 
I should see him. He was not at the prayer- meet- 
ing, however. He was a good man; but, in my 
mind, I judged him harshly, because he failed to 
keep his promise. It troubled me during the night. 
I went out on the street early in the morning, and 
met a friend, who said : 

" Have you heard the sad news ?" 

"What sad news ?" I asked. 

" That Brother O. is dead. He died at eight 
o'clock last evening." 

While I was judging him harshly he was in the 
arms of death. It has been a warning to me ever 
since to judge nothing before the time. 


A man clothed in rags, pale, tremulous, hungry, 
and moneyless, called one morning at the kitchen 

"What can I do for you?" I asked, kindly. 

" I am almost frozen," said he. 

"Sit down by the kitchen-stove and warm." 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

He continued: " I have had nothing to eat for 
twenty -four hoars. I slept in a lumber-yard last 
night. The saloon-keepers, when my last nickel 
was gone, turned me out into the street. This 
morning I heard of you as a friend of the fallen, 
and thought I would come and see if you practiced 
any of the charity which I understand you are con- 
stantly preaching." 

I said to him: "We will not discuss that ques- 
tion now. We will give you your breakfast as soon 
as possible, and after you have eaten a good, square 
meal, you will feel more like talking than you 
do now. I know I would, if I were in your con- 
dition.' ' 

He ate his breakfast with a wonderful relish, 
then said, in a very gentlemanly way : 

" I beg a thousand pardons for trespassing upon 
your time, and I had better leave." 

I found him to be an intelligent man, with good 
business ideas, and with a disposition to work and 
earn his own living, if he could get an opportunity. 

" But," said he, u who will employ me? The 
saloon-keepers will not. Business men will not. 
Farmers will not. I would be willing to take the 
lowest position on a farm with the assurance that 
I would have some place to sleep and my board, 
and be treated as a human being, rather than a 
brute. But I am hopeless." 

" There is a great deal of manhood about you 
yet. There is a key, if you can only find it, which 
will unlock the doors of the prison in which you 
are confined, and restore you to the liberty and to 



the prosperity you once enjoyed. There is sym- 
pathy for you in the great heart of Him who was 
so poor that he had no place in which to lay his 
head. n 

" But I have no friends, no home, no woik, no 

I replied, " I am your friend." 

He said, "You act like one." 

" Just forsake saloons, and when hungry come 
to me and you shall have something to eat, and I 
will find a place of shelter for you, and, if I can, I 
will find employment for you. Don't drink. When 
you are about to give way to temptation, think of 
me, and come at once to my house." 

The sheriff of the county was about to remove 
to a farm. He was not a Christian, but a man full 
of sympathy. His wife was a noble Christian 
woman. I consulted them, and they said: "If he 
will go with us, we will watch over him with all 
the care that we would watch over a dear friend." 

He came back to see me that evening. I gave 
him his supper, and then told him the good news 
I had for him. He said, "I will go." 

I introduced him to the sheriff and his family. 

"Now," said he, "I owe it to- you and these 
kind friends to give you a little of my history. I 
am a native of Pittsburg. I married a noble wife, 
and I have interesting children; but strong drink 
has torn me from their embrace. I was once a 
successful business man — a wholesale merchant. 
Before now I should have been blessed with a for- 
tune, but for rum. But fortune, friends, home, 


Bringing the Sheavks. 

character, everything was swept away by this 
demon. Now I must form a character before I re- 
turn, and to do this I am willing to endure any 
amount of humility. Pray for me. Be my friend, 
and I shall never forget you." 

Two months afterwards, after hearing the best 
reports from him, I paid him a visit, and spent a 
day with him. He was overjoyed to see me. 

After spending many months with the sheriff, 
he so righted up that he began to be himself again, 
and returned to his home in Pittsburg. He finally 
wrote me a most beautiful letter, which I yet have 
in my possession, full of gratitude for the kindness 
I had shown him, and love for the sheriff and his 
wife. He spoke of the love which had inspired the 
hearts of friends to help him in the hour of his 
deep distress. I removed to another point, and have 
never heard of him since; but the memory of that 
man's gratitude and love lingers with me yet. 
"He that hath pity on the poor lendeth to the 

Dayton, at this time, was stirred to its very 
depths with revival interest, night and day. Prayer- 
meetings were inaugurated. They were held in 
Wesley Chapel, and were attended by the most 
prominent citizens of Dayton. They were led by 
laymen, and the presence of the Holy Spirit per- 
vaded all the services. Members of th,e various 
Churches who had hitherto been inactive, il not 
indifferent to their religious teaching, became 
deeply interested, and were earnest promoters of 
the work of grace. There, was the sweetest har- 



mony among the various Protestant denominations, 
with one exception. 

I labored day and night without rest. It was 
my meat and drink to point sinners to the Savior. 
In the midst of all these scenes of triumph, I was 
impressed with the thought that there was a class 
of society in our midst who were not reached, and 
who might say, with some justice, " No man careth 
for my soul." I often felt that I ought to give 
public expression to my views and feelings on this 
subject in the union meetings. But, having the 
most humble views of my ability for such work, I 
kept it to myself until it became a fire in my bones. 

At one of the ministerial meetings, to my sur- 
prise, I was most earnestly invited and urged to 
preach a sermon on the subject of reaching the 
masses in our revival-work. To me this seemed 
like the voice of God, and, after some hesitation, I 
yielded. It was announced very generally, and an 
immense audience greeted me. I never felt my 
unworthiness or my need of God's help more than 
I did that day. I took for my text, "Go out 
into the highways and hedges, and compel them to 
come in." The sermon was an appeal to the faith 
of society of every giade and of every moral con- 
dition, placing the rich and the poor upon the 
same platform, and following, as far as I could, the 
teachings and the example of the Lord Jesus. I 
illustrated the subject with the most striking inci- 
dents I couid think of, which had fallen under 
my own eyes, to say nothing of the examples of 
God\s wilingness to save to the utmost, all who 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

might come to him, as narrated in the Bible and 
the history of the Church. 

God evidently helped me. A solemn awe per- 
vaded the assembly. Tears flowed from eyes un- 
used to weep. The ministers present gathered 
around me with tears in their eyes, and congratu- 
lated me upon the doctrines of the sermon and the 
spirit in which it was preached. Laymen thanked 
me for the boldness of my utterances and the spirit 
in which I had made them. My presiding elder, 
Michael Marlay, whose good opinion I was always 
delighted to secure, came with tears flowing down 
his cheeks, and threw his arms around me, and said : 

"I was proud of you to-day. That discourse 
will do lasting good in Dayton." 

Out of this revival movement sprang what 
afterwards became the Young Men's Christian As- 
sociation in Dayton. Young men united them- 
selves together, and joined in our work for the sal- 
vation of the masses. 

This year, one of the most promising citizens 
of Dayton, as well as one of the most promising 
members of my charge, William Parrott, was 
stricken with paraylsis, and in a few days passed 
to his reward in heaven. He was a man of rigid 
honesty, humble and prudent in his spirit, liberal 
in his benefactions, and respected and loved by all 
who knew him. His oldest son, George Parrott, 
was for many years a traveling preacher. He died 
suddenly at the Conference at Middletown. Col. 
Charles Parrott, another son, a devoted Christian, is 
now a prominent member of the Church in Colum- 



bus, Ohio. He lives, an honor to his parents and 
a blessing to the city in which he resides. Will- 
iam Parrott was the father of a large family. Some 
of these were led to Christ through my humble in- 

Here I had the presence and help of Will- 
iam Herr, then agent for the American Bible So- 
ciety. Maxwell P. Gaddis, my pastor and friend in 
the earlier part of my Christian life, although broken 
in health, went about doing good, and Dayton and 
its religious interests were upon his heart. He 
married Miss Josephine Parrott, the eldest daugh- 
ter of Thomas Parrott, one of the most devoted 
and useful members of the Church in that section 
of Ohio. 

Brother Parrott was humble, modest, an ex- 
ample in his religious life, and active in every good 
work. He left behind him an example worthy of 
imitation, and many monuments of his liberality 
may be found in Dayton and elsewhere. He, with 
his wife, labored to train their children for God and 
heaven. The youngest son of brother and sister 
Gaddis, Eugene, is a member of the Cincinnati 
Conference. Three consecrated daughters are now 
earnestly laboring in the vineyard of the I^ord. 
Miss Lucretia Gaddis is superintendent of the Dea- 
coness Home in Detroit, Mich. Miss Sallie Gaddis 
is laboring in Cincinnati, and Miss Mary in Day- 
ton, Ohio. Their mother still trusts to the inspi- 
ration of her early Christian life, and is going about 
doing good. The prospect is that when this Chris- 
tian family departs, they will come bringing many 

3 66 

Bringing the Sheaves. 

sheaves with them to their final family reunion in 

There I found the faithful friend of my college 
days, Samuel D. Clayton, of Cincinnati Conference. 
He was always around where good was being 
done, and his sermons, exhortations, prayers, and 
tears of sympathy were then, and still are, an in- 
spiration wherever he labors. God has blessed 
him abundantly in giving him many seals to his 
ministry. Few men have more sanctified wit and 
humor than Brother Clayton, which he uses to 
good account. May he long live to proclaim the 
love of Jesus for lost and ruined sinners ! 

We held ministerial meetings in my study. 
These were attended by all the evangelical minis- 
ters, with one exception. At one of these meetings 
the question was asked whether the German Lu- 
theran Church of Dayton was evangelical? The 
Rev. F. W. Conrad, of the English Lutheran 
Church, answered, with some excitement : 

"I would have you know that all Lutheran 
Churches are evangelical. I want it understood 
that the Lutheran Church has a history running 
back for three hundred years." 

One of the Baptist ministers declared, " The 
Baptist Church has a history running back to the 
days of John the Baptist." The Congregational 
minister, who was present, arose and expressed his 
gratification in his ability to claim for the Congre- 
gational Church a history running back to the 
family of Abraham in Hebron. This was a con- 
test in which representatives of other denomina- 



tions were not much interested. I remarked that 
the Methodist Episcopal Church had a standing in 
the present day, and a more glowing future for it, 
in which I greatly rejoiced. 

All the ministers present, except Brother Con- 
rad, greatly enjoyed this episode. We were of one 
heart and one mind, until young men began to 
appear upon the scene as laborers in the work of 
Christ. Dr. Thomas, of the First Presbyterian 
Church, did not look upon it with favor. He was 
bold and outspoken in his criticism of these young 
men. He was promptly met, however, by Dr. 
Kemper, of the other Presbyterian Church, who as 
boldly defended the young men. The Young 
Men's Christian Association had not as yet been 
organized. As we were in the midst of revival 
work, we found leading sinners to Christ more con- 
genial than discussions. 

Before my pastorate closed, I rejoiced in one 
fact; namely, that almost the entire membership 
of my Church were living in the enjoyment of a 
consciousness of sins forgiven. The spirit of work- 
ing for Christ and the betterment of society began 
to manifest itself as never before, and it still lives 
in that congregation at the present time. The sit- 
tings in the church were made entirely free. It 
became a Church of the people, where the rich and 
the poor met together in delightful fellowship. 


A poor man had settled in Dayton just previous 
to my coming. He was not a Christian; but was 

3 68 

Bringing the Sheaves. 

very industrious, laboring night and day to secure 
a competence for himself and family. He attended 
my ministry, and the word reached his heart, and 
he was soon happily converted. I took great in- 
terest in him. He was a gardener on the west 
side of the city. As the spring opened, everything 
was prosperous and nourishing about him, and he 
began to make money as he had never done before. 
He was much elated, but attributed it all to the 
blessing of God which had rested upon him and 
his family ever since he was converted. I rejoiced 
with him in his prosperity. 

In the month of June there was a great flood 
in the Big Miami River, which overflowed its 
banks; and Mr. H., my young English convert, 
saw his beautiful garden covered and almost ruined 
by the water, which, in that part of the city, was 
several feet deep. I felt deeply concerned for him. 
I knew it would be a great trial of his faith, and I 
was anxious to see him, but was not able. 

On Sunday morning I attended the class of 
which he was a member. To my surprise I found 
him there, calm and composed, and deeply inter- 
ested in the services of the meeting. As I was 
leading the class, I spoke to him, and said : 

" Brother H., I have thought and prayed much 
for you for the last two or three days. I feared 
lest your faith might fail." 

In a moment he was on his feet; and, with his 
face beaming with joy, he said: 

" O, Brother Fee, these have been the happiest 
days I ever spent on earth!" 



"Why," exclaimed I, "with, a beautiful garden 
swept away, and all worldly prospects blighted!" 

"O yes," said he; " my inheritance is above 
high- water mark." 

In this, to me, there was a great sermon. It 
was a great blessing to all who heard it. 

While I was pastor of this charge, my second 
daughter, now Mrs. Jennie Wiles, of Dayton, was 
born. She, with her husband and only son, is a 
member of the same congregation which I served, 
but which now constitutes the Grace Methodist 
Episcopal Church on Fourth and I/udlow Streets. 

Dayton is a lovely city, quiet and unpretentious, 
with more merit than it usually claims. A large 
number of honorable and enterprising business 
men control its affairs; and many of these are to 
be found in the various Churches, and their influ- 
ence is apparent. The city is steadily improving, 
and has before it, as we believe, a great future. 
There is much unanimity in the Methodist Epis- 
copal Churches. The missionary spirit may be 
found in all of them. They are evidently marching 
to the regions beyond ; and remembering, in the lan- 
guage of Bishop Asbury, that "they are in a 
pushing world," they adopted the motto that "the 
Methodists must push with the foremost." 

Raper Church, Broadway, St. Paul, Trinity, 
Grace Church, and others are doing a noble work. 



THE next Conference was held in Lebanon, 
Ohio, September, 1858, Bishop Janes pre- 

Efforts were made to secure my appointment 
both to High Street, Springfield, and to Lebanon. 
In the latter place a serious difficulty had existed for 
years between two of the most prominent families 
in that town. Church trials had resulted from 
these, and I had acted as counsel in one of them. 
This fact was likely to make my appointment, if 
I was sent to that place, an element of discord, 
and might seriously interfere with my usefulness. 
My friend William Simmons, presiding elder of- 
the district, notwithstanding, urged my appoint- 
ment. He had received me into the Church, and 
was attaching, as I believed, too much importance 
to my humble abilities. 

My presiding elder, Michael Marlay, consulted 
me previously, and I requested him to lay the 
matter before Bishop Janes, just as it was, with my 
views and feelings, and then leave the bishop to 
dispose of my case as he, in his godly judgment, 
might deem best. This he did, and the bishop de- 
cided that I ought not to be sent to Lebanon, 

A most earnest effort was being made all the 



while to secure my appointment to Higli Street, 
Springfield, and I was sent to that charge. This, 
for reasons which will be given hereafter, was, to 
me, one of the most agreeable appointments I 
have ever received. 

As soon as the usual preparations could be 
made, I removed to the spot where the present 
beautiful parsonage is located. On my arrival I 
was most cordially greeted by my relatives, Levi 
Rinehart and family, and by B. M. Doty, Henry 
Shepherd, Brother and Sister Schafer; the Hon. B. 
G. Dial, an intimate friend of my early manhood ; 
Dr. Dunlap, of the Presbyterian Church; W. C. 
Frye, editor of the Reptiblican; Saul Henkle, 
Mr. Bretney, Christopher Thompson, John Bacon, 
Reuben Miller, John Newlove, Brother Humphries, 
Brother Foster, Mr. Hayward, Mr. Rawlins, and 
many others. The church and parsonage were 
beautifully located on High Street. John W. 
Weakley, of the Cincinnati Conference, was presi- 
dent of the Springfield Female College, which 
was then in a most promising condition. 

From its organization the congregation was 
peculiar. It was one of the first Churches in the 
Conference to adopt family sittings, under the 
ministry of John S. Inskip. This brought on very 
serious complications. Mr. Inskip was finally 
charged with disobedience to the order and dis- 
cipline of the Church. An investigation resulted 
in a very slight censure of Mr. Inskip's conduct 
and administration. He appealed the case to the 
General Conference, which was held in Boston. 

372 Bringing the Sheaves. 

The General Conference reversed the decision of 
the Conference in the case of Mr. Inskip, and the 
rule under which he was censured, was removed 
from the Discipline, and all opposition to family 
sittings was brought to an end. 

These procedures produced a state of feeling 
decidedly unfavorable to spirituality in that con- 
gregation, and made aggressive work a very diffi- 
cult matter, to say the least. We had wealth, 
social position, and intelligence to an unusual ex- 
tent. The pastor was treated with great kindness, 
but the spirituality of the Church was paralyzed. 
There were a number who were deeply pious; 
but their harps were hung upon the willows, and, 
when the command was given to move, only a few 
were willing to obey orders. 

The Sunday-school was dwindling. A new su- 
perintendent must be elected ; but none was willing 
to take the office. Finally it was pressed upon 
Judge K. G. Dial, a graduate of Miami University, 
a brilliant scholar, a successful educator, and a 
young lawyer, with great ability for usefulness; 
but he was timid, and I sympathized with him. 
He was finally induced to accept. He went to 
Cincinnati during the week to secure all possible 
information, and by the next Sunday he had a 
speech written out, which was delivered at the 
opening of the school. By this time he was 
deeply impressed with the importance of his work; 
and as he presented it in his paper, he began to 
weep, and the people wept, until he said: "O, I 
am sorry that I wrote that speech. I have one in 



my soul a great deal better.' 9 I said, "L,et us have 
the one that is in your heart." And he delivered 
it, and it was one of the most interesting Sunday- 
school addresses I have ever heard. He became a 
new man. The school began to grow and nourish. 
New life was infused into the officials and the 
membership generally. 

When winter came, after engaging for two or 
three months in visiting from house to house, 
praying fervently, preaching plainly, and meeting 
all my ministerial obligations as far as I could, I 
opened the campaign, as I thought, with better 
prospects than I had heretofore hoped for. But 
difficulties constantly arose, and discouragement 
met me at every step. My meetings were not 
largely attended, but they grew in interest. R. W. 
Morris, Wm. Whitely, John Newlove, Brother and 
Sister Schafer, Sister Cummins, and that noble 
Englishman, Mr. Ogden, with his family, stood by 
me, and a few others aided me to the best of their 

I soon found that the grace received in other 
Churches did not avail me here. There were re- 
sponsibilities which I had never before met, and 
my trials were new. The obstacles in my way 
were of a different kind. I was passing through 
a new course of discipline. While I highly 
prized the sympathy and love of friends in and 
out of the Church, there was a sympathy which 
was needed now as never before, which the love 
of Christ shed abroad in the hearts of believers 
alone can inspire. 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

Sometimes I felt that I was alone. I thought 
of the loneliness of Jesus as I had never thought 
of it before, and this gave me comfort. Believers 
gave evidence of a deeper work of grace; and 
among the unconverted a consciousness of their 
lost condition as sinners and their need of sal- 
vation became manifest. 

A day of fearful discouragement finally came. 
My utter helplessness appalled me. Failure 
stared me in the face. The enemy whispered: 
"You have never held a meeting without a revi- 
val, and you have become self-confident. You are 
depending upon past success, and God is going to 
teach you a lesson. You need just this kind of 
chastisement. And again, you never before had a 
charge so peculiar." All this seemed reasonable. 
Weeks of labor had passed with little success. No 
sinner had been converted. I could endure this 
no longer. In self-despair I sank down. I lay 
abased in the dust, and was tempted to give up. I 
thought seriously of leaving the pastorate ; of sur- 
rendering my parchments and retiring from a work 
in which I had so signally failed. I was looking 
down to myself and others, and not looking to 

When the evening congregation assembled, it 
was unusually large. A number of unconverted 
people were present. I began to plead with. God 
for his promises, and to look for the Holy Spirit, 
and I did not look in vain. A number of young 
men came forward and kneeled at the altar. The 
change in my feelings was as great as the change 



from midnight darkness to meridian light. Several 
of these were converted, and the influence of the 
Divine Spirit went out in every direction. Con- 
gregations largely increased. Seekers were found 
at the altar every night, and souls were converted. 
John W. Weakley and Dr. Edward D. Roe stood 
by as ambassadors of the Cross. The female semi- 
nary began to share largely in the work. Many 
of the students were converted, the Sunday-school 
flourished, and for the most part there was har- 
mony and peace. 

While rejoicing in this partial success, our ene- 
mies were not idle. Several members approached 
me and said : 

a We are having a very promising meeting; but 
we are all the time trembling with apprehension 
that the meeting will be spoiled, as our former ones 
have been." 

"How is that?" I asked. 

They replied : ' 1 There is a drunken man who 
lives in the outskirts of the city, whose condition 
is hopeless. Whenever there is a revival interest 
he comes to the church, and in a little while he is 
found at the altar when an invitation is given. He 
sobers up while the meeting lasts; but within a 
week after the meeting closes, he is as debauched 
as ever. If he comes now we will request him to 
stay away, and tell him plainly that we do n't want 
him. We have been disgraced enough by his pres- 
ence. There is no hope of doing him any good." 

I was interested in a moment. I asked them 
where he lived. They told me, and before the sun 

376 Bringing thk ShbavBS. 

went down on that cold day, I found his dwelling, 
about a mile distant. He lived in a dilapidated 
building. There was no glass in the windows; 
they were covered with paper. The wind whis= 
tied through the crevices and chilled the inmates, 
I found him, his wife, and a number of children 
sitting near the fireplace, hovering over a few 
embers to prevent them from freezing to death. 

His wife was embarrassed. To me he was re- 
pulsive. He met me in an angry mood. I sought 
to approach him as kindly as I could ; but there 
seemed no avenue to a heart locked up in unbelief 
and sin as his was. In reply to all I said, he only 
abused his neighbors and his wife and his children 
and the ministers of Springfield. Like a porcu- 
pine, he had a fretful quill for every one who ap- 
proached him. 

I permitted him to relieve his mind of all this 
bitterness, hoping that he might then listen a 
moment to me. When he was through, I proffered 
my services to help him and his family to the ex- 
tent of my ability. But he made no response. I 
told him my visit was one of sympathy and 
love, and that I only came to do him good, and to 
be a blessing to himself and family; that Christ 
had died for him, and loved him, and I knew that 
I ought to love him, and labor to bring him to 
Christ. But all this met with no response. At 
last I said : 

" I must leave. Will it be agreeable for me to 
unite with yourself and family for a moment in 
prayer ?" 



After a long time, he said, " If it will do you 
any good, you can." 

" No; I am not here for my good alone, but for 
yours. Do you wish me to pray?" 

" You can do as you please." 

"No," I replied, "I can not pray in your family 
unless I am requested to do so." 

"Well," said he, " do as you please." 

"No," I answered, " I can not pray for you here 
unless you request it." 

He said nothing more, and I arose. I gave my 
hand to each of his children and his wife, and said, 
"God bless you!" I offered him my hand, saying, 
" I have done the best I could, and if you are lost, 
I believe the responsibility will not be upon me." 

"Well," said he, "since you have come, I re- 
quest you to have prayers." 

I prayed fervently for his family and himself, 
that he might become a good man in all respects. 
When I was about to leave, he asked which way I 
was going? I told him by what way I had come, 
and that I would return by the same route. 

"I can show you a better one," he replied. "I 
will go with you and point out the way." 

I saw that his heart was melting a little. We 
walked out together, and I walked slowly ; for I 
wanted the journey to be as long as possible, to 
give him an opportunity to talk freely. He began 
to abuse everybody, just as he had done before. I 
said not a word until he was through. Then I 
said : 

" Mr. G., in my boyhood, when I thought of 


Bringing the Sheavks. 

being converted, I was deterred from seeking relig- 
ion because I was plowing in rough ground with a 
span of horses that were wild and ungovernable. 
The horses were fractious, and every once in a while 
I was jerked roughly, or the plow would get out of 
its place, and I was knocked down. It came to 
me that if I was converted, I could not do that 
plowing and keep my religion one hour. But the 
ground became too hard for me to plow, and I was 
relieved of that task. My conviction became deep, 
and I surrendered my heart to Christ, and was 
happily converted, and was full of joy. I never 
thought once of the trial which awaited me when I 
should return to the plow, and my wild and un- 
governable team. 

"One morning my father awaked me, saying: 
'There has been a heavy rain during the night, 
and we must commence plowing at once.' I arose, 
fed and harnessed my horses, and after breakfast 
was ready for my work. I had been praying all 
morning, every moment, that God would help me 
and keep me from getting angry. I went to the 
field and plowed until almost noon, and was aston- 
ished when the horn blew for dinner. I plowed all 
the afternoon, and it appeared to me that the sun 
went down before its time. It was one of the hap- 
piest days I ever spent. I found out the reason 
— my horses were converted, and I had the best 
team in all that country.'* 

He looked into my face, and with a quizzical 
smile, said : 

"There 's a great deal of meaning in that. It 



means that all the time the fault had been in you, 
more than in the horses." 

"I suppose that was the case." 

" Indeed, there is some point in that; and you 
intend me to take it, do n't you ?" 

" Well," said I, " if it is wise, and fits you, I 
suppose you can." 

By this time we had arrived near the edge of 
the city. 

" You are holding a meeeting here, are you not?" 

I replied that I was, and invited him to attend 
our services. 

" Well," said he, " I like to hear you talk and 
pray. You are the first minister who has visited 
me for a long time." 

That night he was in the congregation. Many 
faces scowled at him. I went back to him and 
shook hands with him, and told him that I was 
glad to see him there, and would pray that God 
might make the meeting a blessing to him. The 
next night he was there again. He was cleaned 
up, and evidently had not been drinking during 
the day. Some of the members said, "Well, here 
he is, and it will be the same old story." I said, 
"Let us pray for him." The next night he came 
and took a seat near the altar; and so on for sev- 
eral nights, until, looking more respectable than 
he had appeared for a long time, he was found one 
night at the altar, seriously seeking Christ. 

Night after night he persisted in seeking the 
pearl of great price. Sunday morning came, and he 
took a seat with the fashionable congregation. On 

380 Bringing the; Shkaves. 

Sunday night, when the invitation was given, he 
rushed to the place of prayer, and kneeled before 
God and pleaded as man can only plead for his 
life. He was the son of a Wesleyan class-leader. 
The sins of his life came up before him in awful 
array. He could not forgive himself, and he sank 
down in despair. His agony became so great that 
the eyes and ears of that large congregation were 
drawn toward him. Almost every heart was 
touched. Ministers and laymen stood around him 
and wept. His cries must have resembled the 
shrieks of the lost. Ten, eleven, twelve o'clock 
came, but he experienced no relief. It did look as 
if his sun would set amid the blackness of darkness 

It is seldom that a congregation witnesses such 
a scene, or is impressed by it. It did look as if 
God had permitted this incident to bring his peo- 
ple more into sympathy with the lost. Up to this 
time the membership of the Church had not been 
touched to any great extent. Suddenly some 
mysterious influence, whatever it was, was felt by 
the congregation, as certainly as one feels a shock 
of electricity. Mr. G. sprang to his feet. He 
glanced upward, gazed around, and looked at his 
hands, and then exclaimed : " How strange it 
seems ! My burden is gone ; 4 the dead is alive, the 
lost is found.' The sins of my life are buried out 
of sight. I am saved !" Then the wonderful love 
of the Lord Jesus Christ filled his heart. 

It was now midnight, but most of the con- 
gregation were still there. The morning of the 



new day dawned, and this man, lost as he had 
been, was numbered among the saved. Everybody 
said : "This work is genuine. He may go back in. 
a week, but he is converted." A week passed, and 
he continued sober. A month passed, and he was 
sober still. He attended every meeting. His wife 
came, a very picture of joy, and, with him, united 
with the Church. The children were brought into 
the Sunday-school. Two months passed, and you 
could have scarcely recognized the house in which 
he lived. In six months he was received into full 
membership with his wife. He had a good posi- 
tion, and was making twenty dollars or more a 
week, and he dressed like a gentleman. Infidels 
said, "This is the most peculiar case we have ever 
known." Everybody said, "What a strange thing 
this is!" But the Church knew, and Mr. G. knew 
that the work was Divine. 

One year passed and he was as firm as a rock, 
and commanded the respect of every one who knew 
him. I had watched over him with almost sleep- 
less vigilance. One day I was sent for in great 
haste to go to the house of Mr. G. He wished to 
see me immediately. I almost ran until I reached 
his house ; and as I ran I wondered if it could be 
possible that the enemy had again seduced him, 
and that he was again in his cups. The door was 
opened and I entered. His face looked red, and 
my heart almost sank within me. He extended 
his hand, and said : 

"O Mr. Fee, I wanted to see you once more 
before I die. The doctor says that brandy is the 

3 82 

Bringing the Sheaves. 

only thing that will save my life; but I won't 
take it." 

His sister said: "Dear John, are you ready? 
I would rather see you die as you are now than to 
have you take the brandy ; for I know the result." 

He replied, "I am ready." Then turning to 
me, he said : 

" Brother Fee, I wanted to see you once more, 
and to thank you again for the good you have done 
me. I will be a star in your crown in the day of 
the L,ord Jesus Christ, and shall be looking for you 
on the banks of the River of L,ife. And I want to 
be one of the first to greet you on that heavenly 

Two or three hours afterwards his Sun of L,ife 
set. The reformed drunkard, standing with his 
feet upon the neck of his last enemy, cried out : 
" O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is 
thy victory?" 

L,et those who imagine that their case is utterly 
hopeless take heart. " The Son of man is come to 
seek and to save that which was lost." Hundreds 
and thousands of debased men and women are 
dying for the want of Christian sympathy. I here 
affirm, as a minister of the L,ord Jesus Christ, hav- 
ing passed ' more than fifty-two years in laboring 
for the salvation of the lost, that I would rather 
have as my monument the love of such a sinner 
saved by grace than to have erected to my memory 
the most beautiful shaft, with the most flattering 
inscription, ever erected in honor of any military 
chieftain on earth. 




During this revival I received an anonymous 
letter. It bore upon its face evidence that the let- 
ter was sincere. It ran thus: 

"As you stand in the pulpit to-night, by look- 
ing toward the second post on your right hand, you 
will behold a young man just eighteen years of 
age, perhaps the most perfect picture of despair 
of any young man you ever beheld. He is the son 
of a pious mother. He was lured into a secret so- 
ciety. Its members were bound by the most 
solemn oaths to use their influence for the destruc- 
tion of the Bible and the religion of the Lord 
Jesus Christ, under the most fearful penalty if any 
of its members should reveal its secret object. 
Almost before I was aware of the horrible position 
in which I found myself, I was training in the 
spirit of this horrible organization, and using my 
influence to promote its object. I came to your 
meeting, became an interested spectator, and then 
began to feel in my own soul the influence which 
pervaded the assembly. I awoke as from a dream 
to realize the awful position which I occupied. 

"Just think of it! — a young man eighteen years 
of age, the son of a pious mother, having enjoyed 
from childhood the very best Christian education, 
in a state of indescribable despair, with no Bible 
to help him, no hope in God or man for this world 
or the next. 

"I see no hope for myself; but, in my despera- 
tion, I am willing to adopt any expedient to de- 
liver myself from the chains of this terrible organ- 

384 Bringing the Sheaves. 

ization with which I have cast my lot. If prayer 
can avail, will you pray for me? Will you come 
to me to-night, and speak just one word of kind- 
ness? Help, O help me, if you can!" 

When I stepped into the pulpit that night, I 
looked toward the post where I expected to see a 
young man. But O ! my heart sank within me 
when I beheld one whom I had regarded as one of 
the most promising young men in my congrega- 
tion. I went to him, called him by name, put my 
arm around him, and said : 

" Can it be that you are the young man referred 
to in the letter?" 

He answered: "Yes. Don't break mother's 
heart and the hearts of my friends by revealing 

He escaped from the slavery of that organiza- 
tion, recovered his liberty, came back to God, and 
was gratefully received. To-day he is an officer in 
one of the prominent Churches in the State. 

Young men and boys, beware ! Deadly serpents 
lie near the path which you are treading. If al- 
ready their coils are around you, do not despair. 
There is hope in Jesus for the lost who come to 
him with broken hearts and contrite spirits. 


A gentleman who was prominent in the city, 
especially in the city government, a member of the 
Church in good standing, acquired the habit of 
dram-drinking. He lost his religious comfort, and 
then indulged more freely in the use of intoxicants 



to drown his sorrow. His friends soon discovered 
it, as they always do, and began to have apprehen- 
sions that he was in danger of being ruined. He 
was awakened by the influence of our revival, and 
came to me and told me ail, and then began to 
seek deliverance from the terrible appetite which 
had fastened upon him. But his case grew more 
and more desperate, until at last he despaired, and 
told his friends that for him there was no hope. 

For weeks we labored with him, but apparently 
in vain. Our quarterly-meeting began, and John 
T. Mitchell was presiding elder. He preached on 
Sabbath morning to a very large congregation on 
"The Fall and Recovery of Peter." Just as he 
was closing, he exhorted the most despairing to 
hope for mercy. This gentleman sprang to his 
feet, and exclaimed: 

"I am saved! saved! saved!" 

The effect was wonderful. All hearts were 
touched, and there was joy in heaven and on earth 
over this returning prodigal. After this, as far as 
I know, he remained faithful. 


A member of the Board of Stewards, a friend 
of my early life, one whom I loved and trusted, 
came to me one day evidently much embarrassed, 
and informed me that, painful as it was, he must 
admonish me for my neglect of duty in my pas- 
toral work. This was the first time that I had 
ever been officially admonished. He said : 

"I am sorry to learn that you have neglected 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

to visit the members of our congregation, and that 
there is a great deal of complaint." 

With me it had ever been a matter of duty to 
visit the members from house to house, and not 
neglect any if it was at all possible to visit them, 
and I supposed that I had escaped censure. I im- 
mediately replied : 

" I thank you for coming to me in this manner. 
Who is aggrieved?" 

He said, ''Several of our members." 

" Do you remember how many have approached 
you personally and have made this complaint?" 

"Only one as far as I remember." 

" Well, from whom did you obtain the informa- 
tion that so many were aggrieved?" 

" I was informed by the lady who came to me 
with her own complaint." 

I had a visiting-book in which I recorded every 
visit which I made. If the parties were not at 
home, I named the fact. I had learned some of 
the peculiarities of the lady referred to, and deter- 
mined to silence all objections. I had recorded in 
my book, "Visited Mrs. six times in the after- 
noon, but in every instance failed to find her at 

I thanked this good steward for coming to me. 
"And now," said I ; " I am very glad the door is 
open, and I want you to tell me of all my failures, 
and I will thank you for it." 

He said, "I have not a single complaint." 

"Well then," said I; "you are not doing your 
duty, for I can find scores against myself." 



He smilingly said, " This is the last time I will 
ever reprove my pastor for neglecting his duty." 

I begged him not to give up his work ; but he 
never came to me afterwards. how many of 
our ministers who aim to do their duty, whose 
motives are impugned and their influence weak- 
ened by persons who will not attend to their own 
religious duty, and will poison and destroy, if they 
can, the influence of those around them ! 


In the summer of 1859, Springfield was visited 
by a terrific wind-storm. Many houses were un- 
roofed, and some demolished. Trees were thrown 
down, and ruin spread in every direction. The 
flashes of lightning were so intense that it was as 
light as day. There was no intermission of light. 

There was a terrible pressure upon the house 
in which we lived. A tree was blown across the 
roof ; and the roof of the county jail, which ad- 
joined our residence, was driven right in front of 
the parsonage. I expected every moment that it 
would be crushed, and that we would be buried 
beneath its ruins. 

Our children were all down with measles. I 
took them out into the parlor, and laid them down, 
side by side, in the center of it. There we stood 
awaiting the ruin which was impending over us. 
My oldest daughter, then a little girl, piteously, 
said : 

" O father, won't you say prayers !" 
I replied, "Louise, you say prayers." 

3 88 

Bringing the Sheaves. 

She began and repeated her childish petition, — 

" Now, I lay me down to sleep, 
I pray the Lord my soul to keep." 

The very moment the prayer was finished she 
went to sleep, and heard no more of the storm. 
No one was injured, bnt the escape was mirac- 

During the entire night it looked as though 
the whole heavens were blazing with light, and 
often as though they were rolling in blood. We 
presume there never was such a display. Mrs. 
Henkle, the widow of a distinguished Methodist 
minister, who was remarkable for her piety, and 
whose faith put to the blush the faith of ordinary 
Christians, came to my door, and said : 

" Do you see that? That means that this 
country is soon to be drenched in blood. That is 
God's sign, God's warning of approaching war." 

Many thought, u What a pity it is that that 
good woman is so superstitious !" We little sup- 
posed then that in a little more than a year from 
that time we should be amid the throes of a civil 
war. It began now to be evident that a crisis was 
approaching. The Kansas trouble had resulted in 
the formation of the Republican party. The domi- 
nant party was rent into factions. The bitterness 
between the North and the South was becoming 
more and more intense. The slaves of the South 
became restless, and insurrection among them 
threatened the inhabitants. This was intensified 
by the raid of John Brown in Virginia, and his sub- 
sequent execution upon the gallows. 

Springfield. 389 

Abraham Lincoln, as the representative of the 
anti-slavery sentiment of the American people, was 
nominated as a candidate for the Presidency. His 
declaration that u the country could no longer exist 
half free and half slave territory," now filled the 
minds of the American people as a great fact. 
When it became apparent that Mr. Lincoln would 
be elected, and that the pro-slavery sentiment 
would no longer dominate the government, as it 
had been doing for several decades, a most fearful 
apprehension of hostilities prevailed. 

Slaves in large numbers were running away, 
and making their escape to Canada. It was next to 
impossible to execute the Fugitive-slave Law. Its 
attempted execution multiplied the number of anti- 
slavery men, and the practice of aiding fugitives to 
make their escape largely increased, and the " Un- 
derground Railroad " was meeting with more sym- 
pathy every day. 

One day a noble and benevolent-looking man 
called at my house, and informed me that he was 
engaged in the interest of humanity, and had been 
directed to me by some gentleman whom I knew. 
He then showed me his credentials. He was 
freely indorsed by a number of the leading minis- 
ters of the State of Ohio. And the particular en- 
terprise in which he was engaged was also in- 

He told me that a mother and five children — 
daughters, I think they were — bright mulattoes, 
belonging to a Mr. S., in Maysville, Ky., had been 
sold to a party in New Orleans, and in a short 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

time were to be shipped to that place. They were 
exceedingly attractive, and had commanded a large 
price. He said that he had determined to rescue 
them from the fearful fate which awaited them by 
their purchase and emancipation. He then showed 
me his book. Liberal subscriptions were made by 
gentlemen whom I knew. I gave my mite cheer- 
fully, and said to him : 

"How much money do you lack now?" 

He replied, " Fifty dollars. " 

"How long have you been engaged in this?" 

" Two weeks." 

" Why, it is strange to me that you can raise 
five thousand nine hundred and fifty dollars in so 
short a time !" (Six thousand dollars was the value 
of these slaves.) He said : 

" I discover that you do not understand alto- 
gether the nature of my mission. I am an engineer 
on the " Underground Railway." 

Then it all flashed upon my mind, and we 
talked freely, and I became deeply interested in the 
success of his mission. He then said : 

" Within three weeks I shall pass through this 
place again." 

I said, " Will you be my guest while you are 
here, at least a portion of the time?" 

He replied, "I will." 

Before three weeks had expired he returned, 
and said : 

" The mother and daughters are safe in 

I was most happy to hear it, and congratulated 



him on his success. I was anxious to hear his 
history, and, without any hesitation, he said : 

" Some years since I lost my wife and children 
by death. I was helpless and hopeless. I thought 
I had nothing for which to live. When I thought 
of the millions of slaves in the South who were in 
a far worse condition, I began to pity them as 
never before, and said, I will spend the rest of my 
life in rescuing as many of them as I can from 
bondage. Since then I have almost constantly en- 
gaged in this work, and have been remarkably suc- 

" Do you know how many have been freed from 
slavery in this way?" 

"Yes. The last persons I sent to the North 
swelled the number to four hundred and sixty- 
nine. I have carried slaves from, every State in 
the Union ; a number from Charleston, S. C. I 
have traveled in almost every form of disguise. I 
have traveled as the representative of the lordly 
master, taken my slaves with me in the train, and 
made good my escape." 

" Have you ever been detected ?" 

" Yes, often. I have been pursued and wounded 
a number of times." 

Uncovering his arms he showed me several 
scars, and said that his body carried a number of 
scars as the reward which he received for this work. 

" Do you think the reward adequate?" I asked. 

"Yes. You don't know the gratitude that 
those people feel toward me. Even if I have no 
reward on earth, I will have hereafter, in the day of 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

judgment. I expect to hold up these hands and 
show the scars I have received for the sake of the 
Ivord Jesus, and hear it said, ' Inasmuch as ye have 
done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, 
ye have done it unto me.' And my sainted wife 
and children will be spectators of the scene. 

u No slave will be taken from the railway be- 
tween this and Cleveland, and no dispatch from 
any office in the State of Ohio will reach the author- 
ities at Cleveland, who are looking out for fugitive 

The humanity displayed by railway officials in 
this country, and those who control telegraph offices, 
will never be known until that day shall come 
which will reveal the secrets of all men. I be- 
lieved his statements, and I give them as an item 
in the history of these times. 


Levi Rinehart was born at Waynesburg, Greene 
County, Pennsylvania. After his removal to Spring- 
field he became one of the prominent business men • 
of that place. He was president of the bank, and 
a prominent member of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. When the present High Street Church 
was organized, he became one of the most promi- 
nent and liberal members of it. He was intelli- 
gent, prudent, kind, and loving in his disposition, 
and won the respect of all who knew him. He 
was not only a useful member of the Church, but 
a useful citizen of Springfield. 

My appointment to High Street Church was 



very agreeable to him, and I greatly enjoyed his 
society, and that of his excellent family. But, to 
my sorrow, his health began to fail, and he became 
a confirmed invalid. I visited him often. He had 
always been modest and diffident. Not to be active 
in religious duty, was to him a heavy cross. He 
could not see that he had been useful, and he said 
to me: 

"I am afraid that I shall have no star in my 

I replied: "We never know fully the result of 
our labors in this life. Eternity alone can reveal 
the result of our work." 

One morning, as I approached his bedside, his 
countenance was radiant with joy. Said he : 

"What do you think? I am going to have a 
star in my crown. You know that German wood- 
sawyer who comes every day?" 

I replied, "Yes." 

" I have been trying to lead him to Christ," he 
continued, " and I have succeeded. He will be a 
star in my crown." 

When I saw him again he said : "The shadows 
have fallen upon me. Death is not far away. I 
have been wondering as to what death is. It is 
compared to the stream of Jordan. I have been 
thinking of Bunyan's ' Pilgrim's Progress.' A pic- 
ture of it hangs there on the wall, and I have been 
looking at it, but have not been able to see the 
1 Jordan' that I must cross. Will you bring it 
to me?" 

I brought it, and we saw that the river was 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

only like a thread. He looked at it again and 
again, and then said in holy triumph : 

"It is only a step over, and it will be easy to 

He slept in Jesus the next day, and his depar- 
ture was mourned by all who knew him. He left 
a large family. Others are following in his foot- 
steps. I have loved on earth few men as I have 
loved him. 


When I arrived in Springfield I found the cele- 
brated surgeon, Dr. A. H. Dunlap, located there. 
His reputation was well-nigh national at that time, 
and has become so since. He had attended my 
ministry while I was in Ripley, Ohio, and we be- 
came warm friends. He always treated me with 
the very highest respect. 

He invited me to attend an entertainment at his 
house on Wednesday evening. I was informed 
that the entertainment was given as a matter of 
respect to me, and that a large number of persons 
were invited to be present. I at once informed 
him that it was the night of prayer-meeting, and 
that the rule of my life had been never to suffer 
any sort of entertainment whatever to keep me 
away from my prayer-meeting. 

He assured me that I would have ample time 
to be present on the occasion, and to attend the 
prayer-meeting afterwards, and I accepted the in- 
vitation. The guests assembled, and at the last 
moment, just as the company sat down, the bell 



for prayer-meeting rang, and it became necessary, 
painful as it was, for me to excuse myself publicly, 
and to give my reasons for my departure without 
my supper. It was a matter of conscience. I 
supposed that I would lose the doctor's friendship, 
and the friendship of others ; but I dared not do 
otherwise. I was told afterwards that, so far from 
taking offense, my conduct met with the approval 
of all, and the lesson was impressed upon a number 
of persons who had never thought anything of hav- 
ing an entertainment on prayer-meeting night. 

The doctor's only son was converted under my 
ministry. The last time I saw the doctor he said : 

" I thought I was going to die recently, and I 
wanted to see you more than any other minister 
on earth, that I might converse with you and hear 
you pray once more." 

Mr. R., one of the prominent official members 
of my charge, gave me the following history of 
himself : 

"A few years since, I lived in the vicinity of 
Chillicothe. I drove a team and wagon to Cincin- 
nati, carrying produce to the city. After dispos- 
ing of the produce, I would load my wagon with 
other articles and take them to Chillicothe. Large 
sums of money were placed in my hands for de- 
livery to merchants in Cincinnati or to persons in 

On one Occasion I had a check on one of the 
banks of Cincinnati in favor of a prominent busi- 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

ness man of Chillicothe. I drew the money in 
United States currency. I put the money in my 
pocket-book, and put the pocket-book in the inside- 
pocket of my coat, as the most secure place for it. 
On my return journey I stopped over night in 
Greenfield, and, in the morning, after attending to 
my horses, I missed my pocket-book. It was a 
mystery as to how I lost it. It must have been 
lost in Greenfield, possibly in the stable there. 

" The amount was very large. After searching 
everywhere, I was compelled to return to my 
home without it. I was a Christian man, a man 
of integrity, and I knew I was innocent of wrong- 
doing; but my reputation, as I saw it, was ruined. 
I returned, and reported the facts just as they 
occurred ; but at once my integrity was doubted, 
and the man and his friends suspected that I had 
appropriated the money to my own use. The 
matter was investigated; but there was no evi- 
dence. It came before the Church; and while 
the evidence was not sufficient to expel me, the 
guilt was upon me, and I was socially ostracized, 
and lost the confidence of the brethren. The gentle- 
man who suffered most had no use for me whatever. 

" Years rolled on, and I remained under this 
cruel suspicion. I did my duty as a Christian 
more faithfully than I had ever done. One day a 
man came riding up to my house from Greenfield, 
and said: * 

" ' You lost a pocket-book, did you not?' 

" ' I did,' I replied, naming the date. 

" ' A pocket-book has been found, and it may 



possibly be yours. In the stable where your 
horses remained that night there was a partition 
built up about three or four feet high ; and right 
opposite one of the stalls the space between the 
studding in the partition had been filled up with 
hay; and when the hay was removed, a pocket- 
book was found which contained money and 
papers. Here it is; examine it.' 

"This man had mounted his horse, and ridden 
a long distance so rapidly as to injure himself, in 
order to bring me the glad news. I opened the 
purse; and there was all the money, with the 
papers belonging to Mr. R. This man said : 

" ' It is strange that the rats and mice did not 
destroy it.' 

" I replied, 1 God would not permit my charac- 
ter, which I had committed to him, to be ruined 
in that way.' 

" In a few hours the news flew in every direc- 
tion. My honesty and reputation were now above 
par, and from that day to this I have prospered 
in all respects. God has taken care of me ; and I 
think no man since then has ever dared to ques- 
tion my integrity." 

One night I preached to young men, but made 
a failure, as I saw it. I sat in the pulpit with my 
hands upon my face, not desiring to see any one, 
when a young man came into the pulpit, and said, 
" Mr. Fee, I want to join the Church." It was 
the son of Mr. R., who became a prominent lawyer, 
and has since then been elected to honorable posi- 
tions in the county in which he lives. 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

Although I met with severe trials in Spring- 
field, I had the best of friends, and have always 
loved the place from that time to this. Brother 
Ogden, a noble English gentleman and Christian, 
was always true to me, as was also Brother Hay- 
ward. Bishop Morris, during my pastorate there, 
removed to Springfield; and I greatly enjoyed his 
society, and profited by his counsels. Thomas 
Sharp, a friend of other years, removed to Spring- 
field ; and he, with his excellent wife, proved to 
be the best of friends. They have both passed 
away; but their memory will always linger with 
me. William C. Frye and John Newlove greatly 
endeared themselves to me, and proved a great 
blessing by their counsels and sympathy. Mrs. 
Commons and Mrs. Schafer, with a host of other 
ladies, sympathized with me in every good word 
and work. Dr. House was my family physician. 
His personal kindness to myself and the members 
of my Uousehold, and his unselfish devotion to the 
Church, are written forever in my memory. Surely 
God will reward him as I never can. Hon. Phineas 
P. Mast, a wealthy manufacturer of Springfield — 
then a distinguished layman of Central Church, 
but now of St. Paul's — was just in the begin- 
ning of his career. He was a Methodist from 
conviction, loved his Church, and was willing to 
give liberally to its support. In conversation with 
me one day, John Bacon, president of one of the 
banks, said : 

" They are building a new church, and Mr. 
Mast is venturing almost his entire fortune, it 



appears to me, in it. It will break him up, and 
the members there will never be able to finish the 
church. They are not rich people." 

"I hope not," I replied. " I have more fear of 
men who won't give than I have of those who do." 

I met him in a year afterwards, and said : 

" How is Central Church getting on?" 

"Well," said he, "Mr. Mast is making money 
more rapidly than ever; and the new church is 
built, and is out of debt. I do n't understand it." 

I replied: " Mr. Bacon, I think I do. They 
did their duty to the utmost of their ability, and 
trusted God for the result; and he honored their 
faith and rewarded their perseverance." 

He looked serious, and said, "Well, I don't 

Mr. Bacon, though not a communicant, was 
generally found in his place, and ready with his 
money to aid the Church in all enterprises. 

While at Springfield, I exchanged pulpits one 
Sabbath with J. M. I^eavitt, who was my successor 
in Dayton. I met with a cordial greeting from saint 
and sinner. The Church was in a good condition, 
in which I rejoiced. I was requested to invite 
persons to join the Church, which I did. Mr. 
Campbell, superintendent of the public schools, 
who had always been a warm friend of mine, was 
the first to come forward ; and many others fol- 
lowed, and there was general rejoicing. At night 
I made, as I thought, one of the worst failures of 
my life in trying to preach. I was so mortified 
that I resolved to return to Springfield at once. 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

Lest I might see somebody who had been at the 
service that evening, I went down the alley on my 
way to the station the next morning. Dr. Schriver, 
who was somewhat of a critic, was present that 
night; and, of all who were in that congregation, 
I dreaded him the most. Just as I emerged from 
the alley, he met me. I was appalled. Said he: 
"You thought you would escape me !" 
I replied: "Doctor, I expected you would be 
after me. It does n't surprise me at all that you 
are here." 

Said he, " I wanted to see you about that ser- 
mon you preached last night." 

" That 's just what I anticipated. Go on, and 
say what you have to say ; I will bear it." 

He replied: "Of all the sermons I ever heard, 
that sermon did me the most good. At one point 
you became confused, and wandered off a little. 
As soon as you began to wander, I became inter- 
ested, and, in less than one minute, you led me to 
Christ ; and I was converted, and am now the hap- 
piest man in Dayton." He had been seeking 
Christ for seventeen years. 

I was humiliated; but God was glorified. 
" God has chosen the weak things of the earth to 
confound the mighty." Often our very failures are 
our successes. God will not give his glory to 

Our second son, William I. Fee, Jr., was born 
in Springfield. I closed my two years' labor here 
with feelings of gratitude to the Great Head of the 
Church for the success which had attended my 



humble efforts in preaching the gospel. Sinners 
were converted, and the spirituality of the members 
was increased. But I was pained to feel that in 
other respects I had failed to accomplish all that 
seemed to be within my reach. 




THE Conference met in Oxford, Ohio, Septem- 
ber 5, i860, Bishop Simpson presiding. I was 
appointed to Christie Chapel, Cincinnati, then as 
now noted for the spirituality of its membership 
and activity in bringing souls to Christ. It was 
named for that great and good man, William B. 
Christie, who was distinguished for his eloquence 
and his untiring devotion to the cause of Christ. 
In the midst of his years and his usefulness he 
ceased at once to work and live. The influence of 
his consecrated life and labors still lingers through- 
out the State of Ohio. I personally knew him, and 
loved him with an almost idolatrous love. 

I was received with open arms by the member- 
ship. They became acquainted with me while I 
was at Ninth Street charge, and were anxious that 
I should serve them when I was appointed to Wes- 
ley Chapel, Dayton. A large number of the prom- 
inent Methodists of Cincinnati were then in that 
charge — John Dubois, James Gamble and his wife, 
David DeCamp, John Pfaff, L,ee Cassady; R. P. 
Thompson, printer at the " Western Methodist 
Book Concern," who has recently passed away; 
Robert Hartley, John T. Johnson, Benj. Dawson, 
Jeremiah Faulkner, Samuel Ramp and wife, Thos. 

Christie Chapel, Cincinnati. 403 

Jenkins, Mr. Cox, Hon. Alex. Long, William P. 
Wiltsee, Job DeCamp, Thomas H. Currey, Charles 
M. Giffin, Professor George F. Sands, Dr. B. B. 
Stevens, Chas. Harris, Mrs. Harrison, and a host of 
others whose names I must omit for want of room. 

The charge was in a good spiritual condition, 
although we were in the midst of a Presidential 
canvass. Very soon signs of revival appeared. 
Souls were converted, and a number were added to 
the Church on probation. The Quarterly Confer- 
ence added one hundred dollars to the salary, which 
was more than they had ever paid before. When 
the war broke out, I refused to receive this, al- 
though it was urged upon me. 

A number of interesting young men were con- 
verted and became active workers in the vineyard 
of the Lord ; so that I had a large number of ear- 
nest, Christian young men, who nobly sustained 
me in my work of building up the cause of Christ. 
These young men visited all parts of the city, 
among the poor and neglected. They literally 
"went about doing good." Among these was 
Thomas Morris Thompson, son of R. P. Thomp- 
son, who was a remarkable young man, then eigh- 
teen or nineteen years of age. When he was but 
nine years of age, while the cholera was prevail- 
ing in Cincinnati, he awoke his mother one night, 
and said: 

"I am afraid I may die with the cholera to- 
night, and I am not prepared. Will you arise and 
pray for me?" 

He kneeled beside his mother, who prayed ear- 

404 Bringing the Sheaves. 

nestly for hirn, until he trusted in Jesus, and 
said : 

" Mother, you may go to bed now. If your 
little boy should die before morning, he is saved. 
He will go to heaven." 

From that hour until he died he was true to 
Christ, "as the needle to the pole." A few years 
after this he joined a band of young men who were 
going about over the city doing good. He labored 
day and night for the good of others, until his 
health broke down, and he could do no more. 
When he became feeble, he still visited the house 
of God. His frail form could be seen at every 
service. At last he was confined to his bed, 
where he lay for weeks, triumphant in the grace 
which had sustained him ; and then, in holy ec- 
stasy, passed to his reward in heaven. During my 
life I have known but few examples among young 
men of his age brighter and more beautiful than his, 

There I found C. M. Gifhn, the son of a deeply 
pious mother, then a member of the Church. 
During my pastorate he gave himself fully to God, 
and received a call to the ministry. He was a 
noble young man, with fine natural endowments, a 
good education, and a burning zeal for the cause 
of Christ. We licensed him to exhort, and then 
to preach. We recommended him to the Annual 
Conference, which received him. Since then he 
has filled with credit to himself, and honor to the 
cause, some of the best appointments in Method- 
ism, and is now a member of the New York East 

Christik Chapkl, Cincinnati. 405 

One night a medical student came to the altar 
of prayer, and was powerfully converted and 
united with the Church. He told me that he 
would leave in the morning for California. When 
I expressed my surprise, he said: 

"I have a brother out there out of Christ. I 
can never rest until I bring him to Jesus, and the 
sooner the better. I go in the morning." 

I understand afterwards that he succeeded in 
winning his brother to Christ. 

Souls were being converted every week. A 
large number of young men were among the 
saved, and these became active workers with me 
in bringing others to Christ. The most perfect 
harmony prevailed in the large Official Board, 
and, indeed, in the entire Church, every depart- 
ment of which was well organized. The classes 
were largely attended. Prayer-meetings were a 
great power in the Church. It is not at all 
remarkable that such a state of things should bring 
steady prosperity to the Church. I not only taught 
the people publicly, but from house to house, giv- 
ing my whole time to my work. It was the cus- 
tom for the leaders of the several classes to accom- 
pany me the first time in my pastoral visitations. 
This relieved me from much embarrassment, and 
gave me at once needed information as to those 
whom I visited, and brought me into closer com- 
munion with the leaders of the several classes. 
The leaders generally enjoyed it, and were greatly 
blessed in this work. 

One of the most successful leaders in the 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

Church was Benjamin Dawson, a son-in-law of 
Dr. Charles Elliott, editor of the Western Christian 
Advocate. Mr. Dawson said to me one day: 

"How much easier your work is than mine!" 
He was a tinner, and kept a stove-store. "Your 
work is light. I shall regard the time spent with 
you in visitation of my class as a season of rec- 

We visited in one day thirty-two families, and 
were not through. The next afternoon was to con- 
clude our visitation among the members of that 
class. In the morning he sent me word that he 
was sick. I called to see him, and found him con- 
fined to his room. Said he : 

" I am broken down by the work of yesterday. 
You did most of the work in talking and praying ; 
but the little work I did was too much for me, 
strong as I am. To the end of my life I shall 
never again complain of the tardiness of our pas- 
tors in completing their rounds of pastoral visita- 
tion. It is the hardest work I ever did." 

Mr. Dawson was one of the most devoted and 
useful laymen in Cincinnati Methodism. 

A new leader was to be appointed in one of our 
strongest classes. My uniform rule was to consult 
freely my Official Board, and at least a portion of 
the class concerning the appointment of a leader. 
I appointed Job DeCamp, one of a large family 
of brothers, some of whom were found in different 
congregations in the city — one in the Presbyterian, 
another in the Baptist, and still another in the 
Congregational Church. 

Christie Chapel, Cincinnati. 407 


The Presidential canvass of i860 was an ex- 
citing one. Much bitterness had been engendered ; 
but this did not interfere with my work nor with 
the revival interest which was going on. It be- 
came evident that we were on the verge, if we 
were not already in the midst, of exciting events. 
To me it seemed that the very life of the country 

There appeared at that time to be an alarming 
want of patriotism among a large number of the 
inhabitants of Cincinnati. The Stars and Stripes 
were regarded by them as not entitled to any 
special respect. Almost every thinking man 
was in doubt as to what the end of all this was 
to be. 

A colored man visited me, having recommenda- 
tions from several of the prominent statesmen of 
Ohio. He had purchased the freedom of himself, 
his wife, and all his children except one, who was 
still in slavery in Henrico County, Va. He fully 
believed that there would soon be war, and that 
he must soon recover his son or probably lose him. 
A little girl was with him, about twelve years of 
age. He desired me to name his condition to my 
congregation, and to stand at the door and receive 
what the people were willing to give as they passed 
out, and retain the money until he came. The 
service closed, and considerable money had been 
donated, but the father came not. The child be- 
came alarmed, supposing that her father had been 
kidnaped, and was inconsolable. We took her to 


Bringing the: Shkavks. 

the parsonage, and she remained there until eleven 
o'clock, in a state of despair. I said to her : 

"Did you ever hear of John Brown ?" In a 
moment she brightened up. 

"O yes!" 

"What do the colored people think of him?" 

" They love him next to Christ." 

"Do the colored people down in Virginia be- 
lieve that slavery will ever be done away with?" 

"Yes, the pious ones do ; the wicked ones don't." 

"What makes the pious ones think so?" 

" Because God has answered their prayers." 

"How soon do they think they will be free ?" 

" In about two years. The pious ones say so ; 
I do n't know anything about it." 

Just at this moment the father came, and the 
child was filled with joy. In a short time the last 
child was purchased, and this redeemed family was 
united, and prosperously located near Chillicothe, 

About two years from that time the Emancipa- 
tion Proclamation was issued, and, as far as that 
Proclamation could make them free, the prayers of 
the colored people had been answered, and their 
faith vindicated. " Thou hast hid these things from 
the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto 

The Southern States began to secede. The 
Government at Washington was powerless. Its 
authority was trampled under loot, and defiance 
was hurled in the face of the Government. The 
President scarcely dared to moved in any direction. 

Christie Chapel, Cincinnati. 409 

It seemed as if the Government was falling to 
pieces, and there was no remedy in sight. I loved 
my country and honored her institutions, and re- 
spected her authority. I abhorred the very idea of 

In Cincinnati, up to that time, as far as I 
how remember, the pulpits were silent. I an- 
nounced one Sabbath morning that in the evening 
I would deliver a discourse on the duties of civil 
government, in a crisis like this, from a Christian 
standpoint, basing my remarks upon a passage in 
Paul's Epistle to the Romans, and urging, in my 
humble way, the duty of all Christian people in 
this crisis. I spoke calmly and dispassionately, but 
fearlessly on this subject, and uttered not only 
what I alone thought, but what I believed to be 
the conviction of every good citizen. I had a 
crowded house. The audience was serious and 
attentive. I had first announced that I would 
preach on the subject, as it was a special one, and 
some might be anxious to hear it who would not 
otherwise be present, and that others might desire 
to be absent who would disapprove such an ap- 
pointment. A large number of prominent citizens 
were present, men of all parties and positions in 
society. The member of Congress from one of the 
Cincinnati districts, the Hon. Alex. Long, a mem- 
ber of my Church, and a personal friend of mine, 
was present. 

At the close a large number of citizens gathered 
around me, men of all parties, and thanked me for 
my effort, saying that they approved ot the sermon 

4io Bringing the Shisavks. 

I had preached. But my friend, Mr. Long, disap- 
proved it, and told me that he would give fifty dol- 
lars for the privilege of replying to it on the next 
Sabbath night. I replied that as far as I was con- 
cerned, he could have the privilege "without money 
and without price." This did not interfere with 
our friendship, however. He was my friend to the 
day of his death ; and while he differed from me in 
my views on this question, he declared that he 
honored me for my boldness and the spirit in 
which I did it. Beyond this, I know not how much 
good or how much harm my sermon did; but I 
never regretted my course. 

The revival work went forward during the win- 
ter, and scores were saved, notwithstanding the 
political excitement which prevailed. 


Early in December, i860, a number of minis- 
ters and laymen were spending a social evening 
with me at the parsonage. Noting that I had given 
a great deal of time to reading and investigating 
the existing state of things in the country, they in- 
sisted that I should give them the result, as far as 
I was able. This I at first declined to do ; but it 
was pressed upon me, and at last I consented. I 
gave it as my opinion that there would be civil 
war within the next six months ; that it was a 
political and moral necessity; that the love of 
country which ought to be felt, would probably be 
brought back in no other way; that the institution 
of slavery with its social and civil corruption was 

Christie Chapkl, Cincinnati. 411 

a great evil, and that continually, and would be 
removed in no other way ; that in the beginning 
of the war the rebels would have the advantage, 
and that we would suffer unexpected defeat; that 
the South was familiar with the use of arms, dis- 
ciplined, and dashing, and the North was not. 
But as the North had overwhelming advantages, 
and all the resources necessary to prosecute a long 
war, in the end it would be successful ; that slavery 
would be abolished, and we would again become a 
united people. 

This brought upon me the united opposition of 
all who were present, and a long, exciting debate 
occurred. I was twitted very often about this posi- 
tion, until the battle of Bull Run was fought, when 
a number of those who were present voluntarily 
came to me, and said : " It looks now as if you were 
right, and that your predictions would finally come 
true, notwithstanding our defeat in that battle." 

February, 1861, came, and with it the announce- 
ment that the President-elect would pass through 
Cincinnati on his way to the Capital. The whole 
country was alive with interest. On the day ap- 
pointed, Mr. Iyincoln reached Cincinnati. Tens of 
thousands greeted his arrival. The streets were 
thronged as far as the eye could reach. The Presi- 
dent was driven through the streets of Cincinnati 
in an open barouche. He received a perfect ova- 
tion. As he stood in the open carriage, and bowed 
to the vast multitudes of people who thronged the 
streets on either side, his face appeared to me, to 
bear the impression of the deepest sorrow. 

412 Bringing the: Shkavks. 

When he crossed the canal on Vine Street, Im- 
mense numbers of children were on the pavements 
dressed in the " Stars and Stripes." Many of them 
were Germans, wild with enthusiasm. I held my 
little daughter in my arms, and the President 
looked toward us, when, with childish delight, she 
said: "O papa, he bowed to me!" At the corner 
of Vine and Twelfth Streets a German carried in 
his arms a beautiful little girl, who was dressed in 
the " Stars and Stripes." He ran toward Mr. Lin- 
coln's barouche, holding the child up, and Mr. Lin- 
coln called to the driver to stop. The procession, 
which was miles long, halted, and the President 
motioned to the man to bring the child forward. 
He did so, and Mr. Lincoln took her in his arms 
and kissed her most affectionately, and then 
handed her back to the father, amid the shouts of 
thousands. This great man had a father's heart. 
Tears came into the eyes of many when they be- 
held this touchingly beautiful scene. In my eyes 
it was an element of true greatness. I thought of 
Jesus, who said, " Suffer little children to come 
unto me, and forbid them not," 

The day on which Fort Sumter, after a hot 
siege, was surrendered by Colonel Robert Ander- 
son, was Saturday, April 13, 1861. It was an event 
which startled the civilized world, and was the be- 
ginning of the most eventful war which ever oc- 
curred upon earth. I remember how, when the 
news reached us, we almost held our breath as we 

Christie Chapel, Cincinnati. 413 

waited, hour after hour, to hear further tidings. 
The Sabbath was one never to be forgotten in Cin- 
cinnati. I incidentally heard an Irishman, who 
lived close to my residence, say to his wife : 

" Biddy, Fort Sumter, they say, is fallen. Can 
it be, Biddy?" 

" I do n't know," she replied ; "but it is awful if 
it is so." 

I soon learned that it was even so, and almost 
every heart which beat with the love of country 
was bleeding, and every one was saying to himself, 
" What is to be the result of all this?" We won- 
dered then, "Will our paralzyed citizens revive? 
Will they bear this insult ? Will they not, in the 
name of God and humanity, rush to the rescue, 
and save our beloved land?" 

As soon as it was known in Washington that 
Fort Sumter was surrendered — Fort Moultrie had 
already fallen — President Lincoln issued a call for 
troops. At dawn of day on Monday morning, April 
15th, I had the daily paper in my hand, and from 
every part of the country a patriotic response came 
up that gave a hope I never had before, and I 
never faltered from that hour to the close of the 
war, in the belief that the country was to be saved. 
I was prepared for defeat. I could bear war if the 
end would only come, and bring us back a loyal 
country, a united country, a free country. 

I went down to Fourth Street early in the 
morning, and almost everywhere as I went, the 
" Stars and Stripes" were floating, and excited men 
and women were seen and heard, ready to do any- 

4H Bringing thk Shkavks. 

thing which would save us from the ruin impend- 
ing over us. I stood, with Rev. John T. Mitchell, 
on the steps of the custom-house, corner of Vine 
and Fourth Streets. In every direction, as rar 
as we could see, the streets were filled with ex- 
cited men. Public opinion was overwhelmingly for 
the country. This, in Cincinnati, was an unex- 
pected result, and was deeply gratifying to us all. 
Men here and there undertook to arrest this spirit 
of patriotic feeling, but they were promptly knocked 
down, or else were compelled to flee for their lives. 
All over the city the same spirit pervaded the peo- 
ple ; in the shops, stores, and offices. 

Measures were immediately taken in Cincin- 
nati to respond to the President's call ; and before 
sundown Cincinnati could be counted as a city 
true to the Government, true to that noble pa- 
triotism which was now animating the country 
from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Men were en- 
listed that day in the service of the country. 
Two regiments were quickly ready to march to 
the defense of the capital of the Nation, which 
was supposed to be in danger. I stood at the 
depot of the Little Miami Railway as these noble 
men gave their parting cheers to fathers, mothers, 
wives, and children, when the train whirled out of 
the station. I wept as though my heart would 
break, believing, as I did, that I should see their 
faces no more. Among these were many of the 
young men who had been converted at Christie 
Chapel during my brief ministry there. I had 
kneeled with them at the altar, and had pointed 

Christie: Chapel, Cincinnati. 415 

them to Christ. I had welcomed them into the 
kingdom, and entered their names upon the records 
of the Church of which I was pastor. A number 
of them I never saw again. I began at once a 
work which continued until the close of my pas- 
torate in that charge, — of visiting the wives and 
children of those who had gone to the war ; of 
visiting hospitals, and there administering to the 
sick ; of writing letters for wives and sisters who 
were unable to write to friends in the army. 

The battle of Bull Run, in July, 1861, brought 
much sorrow to Cincinnati. So many of the fami- 
lies of my Church and of my acquaintance were 
represented in the engagement that I spent all 
the afternoon, after word reached Cincinnati, in 
going from house to house, and praying with these 
heart-stricken people, and giving them all the com- 
fort I could. No one knew the fate of those whom 
they loved that were in the army. To me it was the 
saddest day I ever spent. After this our country's 
hopes grew brighter, and we began to be accus- 
tomed to the new condition of things. It was not 
long after this that the bodies of the dead were 
brought to Cincinnati, and it was my mournful 
duty to officiate at the funerals of many of them. 


The battle of Winchester was fought. One of 
the regiments engaged in it was from Cincinnati. 
Many of its members fell on the field of battle ; 
and among these was Captain George B. Whitcomb, 
a noble man. His wife was a member of my 

4i6 Bringing the Sheaves. 

Church. I knew him well. He was brave among 
the bravest. During the heat of the battle his 
color-bearer was shot down. Another rushed for- 
ward, and, seizing the fallen banner, lifted it up, 
and fell dead the next moment. A third did the 
same, and fell as quickly as the other. A fourth 
seized it, waved it, and fell a corpse. Captain 
Whitcomb then rushed up, seized the flag, and 
waved it defiantly in the face of the enemy, and 
exclaimed, "Keep up the flag, boys!" and, as he 
said this, a ball pierced his brain, and he instantly 
fell dead. 

His remains were brought to Cincinnati, and 
were buried from Christie Chapel. I delivered the 
funeral discourse to the most crowded congrega- 
tion I ever addressed. Twenty thousand people, 
at least, attended the funeral. The entire police 
force was out, and the military force at that time 
in Cincinnati was present. General Bates, who 
sat by my side in the pulpit, said : 

" Never before were such honors paid to a citi- 
zen of Cincinnati." 

This brave man's dying words, " Keep up the 
flag, boys," rang throughout the army. Captain 
Whitcomb, and a large portion of the army who 
fought the battles so bravely, have fallen ; but the 
flag still floats, and, we believe, will still wave, for 
centuries yet to come, over the best Nation on 
which the sun ever shone. Nor will the memory 
of those who perished in the war soon die. Their 
names are recorded on the pages of our history, and 
their graves are annually decked with flowers. 

Christie Chapkl, Cincinnati. 417 


As the summer came on, almost worn out with 
excessive labor, I visited my father-iti-law, Joseph 
R. Thomas, of Zanesville, Ohio. Here I met 
Charles C. McCabe, who was then pastor of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church at that place. He 
was in the flush of his early manhood, all ablaze 
with the spirit of patriotism, ready to sing, pray, 
preach, fight, suffer, and die for his country. 
At once he became a central figure and a powerful 
agency in rallying men to the standard of their 
country. When a regiment was to be raised, he 
was sent for, that, by his fiery eloquence and 
thrilling songs, he might aid in the work. The 
history of those times can not be perfect without 
giving Chaplain McCabe a large place in it. But 
the reader will hear more of him hereafter. 

The public mind was engrossed with the sub- 
ject of war. The army had just invaded West 
Virginia, and the first battles of the war were 
being fought. I determined conscientiously to 
perform the work to which God had called me. 
My pulpit was occupied during my absence from 
Cincinnati, and the interests of the Church did not 
suffer. In two weeks I returned. One of the 
first persons who greeted me was John W. Hop- 
kins, of the Methodist Book Concern. He said: 

" I have been anxious to see you. There is a 
case which greatly troubles me. I was sent for, 
some time since, to visit a lady who is sick and 
will probably die. She is not prepared for death, 
but declares that there is one man who will lead 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

her to Christ ; that she never saw him but once, 
and then but for a few moments; did not learn his 
name, and does not know whether he is a minister 
or layman. After laboring to convince her that 
she was under a delusion ; that she could be led by 
somebody else to the Savior, or that she could go 
herself to Christ and find pardon, I saw that it 
was all of no avail. She still clung to her fond 
notion. I named all the ministers in the city with 
whom I was acquainted. Finally I mentioned 
you, when she said : 

"'That is the man who will lead me to Christ.' 

" I told her you were in Zanesville, and she has 
been awaiting with great anxiety your return to 
the city. Will you go to see her ? You will find 
her on the corner of Race and Court Streets." 

I replied: "I did call at that place some time 
since, and a lady whose name is Hopkins met me 
at the door." 

He replied, "That is the name of the sick 

I then said to him: "The case strangely im- 
presses me. Some four weeks since, one Friday 
morning, I was in my study trying to prepare a 
sermon for the next Sunday; but I could not 
study. After repeated efforts, I gave it up in de- 
spair, and then kneeled down in my room and 
asked God what he would have me do. I felt 
strangely. Just then it came to my mind that a 
few days before, a lady, the widow of a Mr. Hop- 
kins — who had committed suicide by drowning 
himself in the canal some years before, while I 

Christie Chapel, Cincinnati. 419 

was pastor of Ninth Street Church, which incident 
I have already described — was said to be living on 
the corner of Court and Race Streets. I felt that 
I must go to see her, and at once left my study. 

" When I reached the place, a very pleasant- 
looking lady met me, and I asked if Mrs. Hopkins 
resided there. She replied: 'My name is Hop- 

" Said I : ( Madam, excuse me. You are not 
the lady whom I am seeking.' 

" I then told her in brief the history of the one 
I sought. She said : 

" ' I know whom you mean. She resides at 
No. 419 Elm Street.' 

"I did not tell her who I was; did not inti- 
mate that I was even a Christian. I left at once, 
and was soon at the door of the widow, Mrs. Hop- 
kins, on Elm Street. The very moment she saw 
me, she threw up her hands in great surprise, 
saying : 

" ' O, I have hoped and prayed for days that I 
might see you. I learned a short time since that 
you are again pastor in the city. I wanted to 
speak to you of the sorrows which are crushing 
my heart and that of my young daughter.' 

"My call, I think, was greatly blessed. She 
became calm and peaceful, and said: 

"'This visit is of God. He has answered my 
prayers, and brought you to my lonely residence. 
I shall never forget your sympathy in the past nor 
your present visit to my home.' " 

Dr. Hopkins said: "This seems to be a very 

420 Bringing thk Sheaves. 

mysterious matter, and the hand of God is in it. 
I wish you would go at once and see the sick lady." 

I did so. When I was ushered into her room 
she recognized me, and said, "This is the gentle- 
man who is to lead me to Christ." I told her 
that this confidence would be in the way of her 
speedy conversion; that she was depending more 
upon human than upon the Divine agency; but she 
said, "Not at all." After praying and conversing 
with her for some time, she frankly told me that 
there was no change for the better. A heavy 
burden of some kind was upon her soul. I ex- 
horted her to give herself to God without any 
human agency, and to receive Christ, as this was 
her only hope. The next day I called again, and 
found her in the same state. I labored in every 
possible way, as far as I knew, to have her look 
to Christ and receive him then and there as her 
personal Savior; but I failed. At last I frankly 
told her an impression that I had upon my mind; 
namely, that there was some secret in her life, or 
possibly experience, which she had not revealed 
to me, and perhaps to no one else. She replied, 

"I think you are mistaken." 

Her sister, who was sitting at her bedside, said, 

"There is a burden upon your mind, and I 
know it." 

I said to her: "Mrs. Hopkins, if there is, I do 
not ask you to reveal it to me ; but my opinion is 
that you had better reveal it to some friend whom 
you can trust. Perhaps your unwillingness to do 
this is a great barrier to your conversion." 

Christie Chapel, Cincinnati. 421 

She replied: "I would sooner communicate the 
matter, to which my sister referred, to you than to 
any one else, and I will do so. More than twenty 
years ago I was deeply convinced of my lost con- 
dition as a sinner. I had been brought up in the 
Presbyterian Church, having received the very best 
religious teaching, and having the very best relig- 
ious examples set before me. It was impressed 
upon my mind that I would not be converted until 
I was baptized by immersion. The Presbyterian 
minister was unwilling to baptize me by any mode 
until I was converted. I then inquired of the pas- 
tor of the Baptist Church as to whether he was 
willing to baptize me by immersion. He told me 
that he was unwilling to do it while I was uncon- 
verted. No other denomination was within my 
reach. I did not know then that possibly I might 
have been baptized by a Methodist minister. 

" So for twenty years I have suffered the deepest 
agony of soul on account of my sins ; being con- 
stantly under the impression that I could not be 
converted until I was immersed, and nobody was 
willing to baptize me until I was converted, and I 
gave it up in despair. When I was taken sick, the 
matter came back again with all the force of other 
years. I then understood that there were persons 
who would immerse me ; but my physician said 
that my health was so critical that the effort would 
probably result in my death. 

"I prayed to God for light and help; and, 
when you called that day to inquire after the 
widow Hopkins, a strange feeling came over me 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

that you were the man who was to bring me to 

I was greatly puzzled for a little while, for she 
told me that she now had no hope of salvation. 
After a brief prayer for Divine direction and help, 
I said to her: 

"Mrs. Hopkins, do you believe that the Lord 
Jesus Christ tasted death for every man?" 

She said, "I do." 

"Do you believe that he died for you?" 
"I do." 

"In dying did he make an atonement for all 

She answered, "Yes." 

"And made it possible that all sins might be 
forgiven, save the sin against the Holy Ghost?" 

"Then if it was a sin for you not to be im- 
mersed, did he not make an atonement for that 
sin, and secure pardon for it as well as all others?" 

She raised her hands, and exclaimed: "O, I 
never thought of that! He will take the will for 
the deed, if I am not able to perform the act. I 
now receive him as my personal Savior!" 

In a moment she was rejoicing in the Savior. 
From that day she continued in this happy state 
of mind. Fear of death was taken away, and she 
was anxious for the time when she would be at 
rest. It was not long after this that she passed 
away. By request I preached her funeral sermon 
to a large number of interested friends. I present 
this case, with its peculiar circumstances; the 

Christik Chapel, Cincinnati. 423 

strange impression which I had that God had some- 
thing for me to do, besides the preparation of a ser- 
mon; and that in answer to prayer, the condition 
of the widow was brought before me. 

In the work of pastoral visitation, my custom 
had been to pray that God would direct me in my 
visits to the places where I would be likely to do 
the most good; and I can but believe that I have 
been led by the Divine Spirit in this work in hun- 
dreds of instances. I have found in many other 
cases that "God moves in a mysterious way his 
wonders to perform." 

My labors were incessant in visiting the poor, 
the sick, and the different regiments encamped 
about the city, and in delivering addresses at public 
meetings, attending funerals, and preaching in my 
pulpit. Notwithstanding the war, and the spirit 
which pervaded the great masses of society, the 
spirit of revival continued. My success, all things 
considered, was most gratifying. Of a truth, God 
was with me. 

The Conference of 1861 met in Springfield, 
September 4th, Bishop Morris presiding. During 
its session, the Conference, in a body, visited Dela- 
ware, where a most eloquent and impressive address 
was delivered by the late Bishop Kingsley, who was 
then editor of the Western Christian Advocate. 

Bishop Morris reappointed me to Christie 
Chapel at the unanimous request of the charge. 

The war overshadowed almost everything dur- 
ing this year. The ministers were universally 
loyal to the country. Many thousands of soldiers 

424 Bringing thk Sheaves. 

went from the city to the field of conflict. Fathers, 
husbands, brothers, sons alike rushed to the field 
to fight for the life of the Nation. Chaplaincies in 
the army were offered me again and again; but 
these I declined. I felt more like becoming a sol- 
dier in the army and doing my religious work as a 
common soldier than as a chaplain. 

The winter was one of deep revival interest, 
and many were brought to Christ. During the 
winter I visited the camps at Maysville, Kentucky, 
and at Louisville. My youngest brother had en- 
listed, and was sick at Louisville. Sick as he was, 
he refused to go to the hospital; and, as the army 
moved into Tennessee, he went with them and en- 
dured most intense suffering. 

As the spring opened up, military operations 
became more active. Fort McHenry was taken. 
A great victory was achieved at Fort Donelson, 
and a large portion of Tennessee was occupied by 
the Union armies. They finally concentrated their 
forces at Pittsburg Landing, where a bloody battle 
ensued. Thousands of brave men fell on that field, 
or were maimed for life. My brother and many of 
my friends were there ; but we could get no details 
of the battle for a long time. 

One morning I called at the residence of J. M. 
Walden, now bishop. It was said by one of us, 
"Suppose we go down to the river. Possibly we 
may hear something from the field of battle." We 
walked down; and, when we reached the public 
landing, we beheld the steamboat Magnolia, with 
a yellow flag, just coming in. We met her at the 

Christie Chapel, Cincinnati. 425 

wharf, and found that she was filled with wounded 
men. I knew the officer, and he said to me, 
"Your brother is on board, wounded." 

My cousin, Doctor E. B. Fee, was the surgeon 
in charge of these wounded men. He sought me, 
and although no others were admitted, I was taken 
on board, and led to a bunk near the wheel-house, 
where my wounded brother lay. For three days 
and nights he had lain on the open field, drenched 
by the terrible rain that was falling. No surgeon 
had dressed his wounds. The wonder is that he 
did not die ; but I found him cheerful. Before he 
answered one of my questions, he said : 

" Is Island No. 10 taken ? We soldiers hear 
so many stories, we know not what to believe." 

His heart was only intent on victory for the 
Union armies. By the favor of the surgeon and 
prominent officers, he was carried to my residence, 
and placed in charge of Dr. E. B. Stevens, my 
intimate friend, whose kindness to me and mine I 
shall never be able to repay in this world. 

Many months passed before my brother was 
able to return to the army ; but he remained with 
it at General Stanley's headquarters to the last, 
and still lives to rejoice that he bore a part in the 
War of the Rebellion, and helped to save the best 
Government upon earth. 

The next session of the Cincinnati Conference 
was to be held in Cincinnati. Only two weeks be- 
fore it began, it became evident that Ohio might 
be invaded by Rebel forces. General Kirby Smith 
had his eye on Cincinnati, or else was making a 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

diversion in favor of some other point. The idea 
of Cincinnati being captured was more than the 
Ohio people could endure, and they rushed to the 
rescue to the number of about seventy thousand, 
ready to defend the city and the State at every 

Just as Cincinnati began to prepare for defense, 
as a citizen of the Fifteenth Ward, I proposed the 
formation of a regiment ; and my name was the 
first one enrolled. In a short time it numbered 
one thousand men or more. We were drilled every 
day. The alarms became frequent and the danger 
imminent, it was thought. We were finally notified 
to assemble and be sworn into service. We met 
in the afternoon. Captain Baldwin was there to 
muster us in. My name was the first one called. 
I answered, and stepped forward. He said : 

" Mr. Fee, do you think you could march seven 
miles to-night into Kentucky?" 

I answered, "I suppose I could." 

"Are you willing to try it?" 


" Would you not be in danger of breaking down?" 

"I might; but, Captain, many others have 
broken down before me, and I am not only willing 
but anxious to run the risk." 

"You are rather a feeble man; and would it 
not be better for you to retire?" 

"If I do, Captain, it will only be because you 
rule me out, and take the sole responsibility upon 

He said, "I take it; step aside." 

Christie Chapel, Cincinnati. 427 

Rev. William X. Ninde, now bishop, was next 
called, and went through the same kind of exami- 
nation, and, at its completion, was told to step 
aside. We had made all preparations for camp- 
life ; had bidden our wives and children farewell. 
The idea of returning to our disconsolate families 
to us seemed rather ludicrous ; but I need not say 
that we were thankfully and joyfully received. 

It was thought by a number of prominent gen- 
tlemen that, inasmuch as I had been very active 
in visiting among the soldiers and their families, I 
could do more good in that species of work than 
I could do in camp ; and they evidently influenced 
Captain Baldwin to rule me out. I confess that I 
felt mortified; and my friends, out of sympathy 
for me, procured from General Lewis Wallace, 
then in command in Cincinnati, a roving commis- 
sion to go where I pleased. 

The loyal regiments — they were not all loyal — 
marched at once into Kentucky. When the danger 
became imminent, as was thought, martial law was 
proclaimed in a very rigid manner ; and without a 
pass, men were in danger of being arrested at any 
time in the city. The streets were filled with 
guards. Nobody rejoiced in the proclamation of 
martial law more than did the colored people. 
While every white man was required to have a 
pass, none was required of them. While walking 
one day with John Pfaff, two colored men walked 
before us. One of them exclaimed : 

" Sam, glory be to God and de Lamb forever ! 
I never 'spected to lib to see dis day. When we 


Bringing the Shkavks. 

was slaves, we could n't go any whare unless old 
mars' or missis gib us a pass. Now every white 
man has to get a pass, and de niggers go free." 

It certainly was a marvelous change. 

The Conference met on Wednesday, September 
3, 1862, in Morris Chapel, Bishop Ames presiding. 
It was a strange experience for our ministers. The 
apparent danger of an attack on the city became 
more imminent. A messenger arrived one day at 
the city building, and informed us that the Rebels 
were coming in force, and were only eight miles 
from the city. This news produced consternation 
everywhere; but this lasted only about an hour. 
It was soon discovered that the tremendous dust 
which was raised on that road was caused by an 
immense drove of Government mules, and not by 
rebels, as was supposed. We were all the while 
subject to such alarms. 

Just at this time a large force of veterans — the 
heroes of Pea Ridge, Mo. — arrived in the city. 
Ragged and dirty as they were, they at once in- 
spired everybody with courage. 

Each morning an attack was expected ; but it 
came not. The proclamation of martial law was 
somewhat relaxed ; and the disloyal regiments, as 
they were termed, remained in the city, opened 
their business-houses, and were doing an immense 
trade at the expense of the loyal business men who 
had rushed to the front. This, of course, gave of- 
fense to every loyal man, and especially to those 
who were enduring the hardships of camp at the 

Christie: Chapel,, Cincinnati. 429 

On Sunday, when I was in my pulpit — Edward 
McHugh was preaching — an officer dressed in 
uniform came to the pulpit, and announced to me 
that I must immediately accompany him, which I 
did. When alone, he said : 

"You are wanted at headquarters immediately, 
on the other side of the river. I will accompany 
you. You have the only roving commission that 
has been given by General Wallace, and you can go 

We finally reached the headquarters of the regi- 
ment in which I enlisted. A number of officers 
invited me to a consultation which they were about 
to hold. I found that they were in the midst of a 
fearful excitement, and it had been difficult to pre- 
vent an insurrection. The troops were outraged 
because the proclamation of martial law had been 
so modified as to allow those who remained in the 
city to resume business. This, in their estimation, 
was paying a large tribute to disloyalty ; and they 
would not endure it. Every Cincinnati regiment 
on that side of the river had the same feeling. 
They said to me : 

" The trouble may be averted ; but they will 
not give us passes to the other side of the river. 
You have one signed by General Wallace ; and by 
your kindly interference you may save us from a 
serious outbreak. We request you as soon as pos- 
sible to visit Mayor Bishop, Pollock Wilson, and 
Gassaway Brashears, and consult with them as to 
what ought to be done." 

Major-General Wright, ot the Sixth Army 

430 Bringing the Sheavks. 

Corps, had superseded General Lewis Wallace, 
and was now in command in Cincinnati. We 
were asked to visit him as soon as possible, and 
lay the case before him, and request him to re- 
proclaim martial law in its original form, and 
bring the regiments referred to, to the Kentucky 
side of the river, or else permit the loyal regi- 
ments to return to Cincinnati. 

On my return we had a meeting for consulta- 
tion. The mayor, and indeed the entire commit- 
tee, was alarmed at the prospect of the most 
serious trouble, just at the time when it might be 
fatal to Cincinnati. At the conclusion of our 
meeting, Mayor Bishop and myself were ap- 
pointed to visit General Wright, and, if possible, 
secure the redress which was desired by the Cin- 
cinnati regiments then in camp. 

General Wright received us with all possible 
courtesy, but declined to take any action whatever 
at that time. But the next morning the papers 
contained a stringent proclamation of martial law. 
It served to compel these men to close their busi- 
ness-houses, and be ready to move at once to the 
front. This was all that was asked, and gave great 
satisfaction to the friends who were already at the 
front. No public explanation of this procedure 
has ever been given, as far as I now remember. I 
give it as a part of the history of the times. 

The public supposed that the proclamation of 
martial law indicated the most serious danger, and 
it was reported that an immediate attack would be 
made by Kirby Smith on our forces. I was in- 

Christie Chapel, Cincinnati. 431 

formed by a prominent officer of the army that at 
daylight the next morning the battle would com- 
mence. Our forces were then ready to move upon 
the enemy, and about daylight I might listen for 
the boom of cannon. I heard no cannon ; but at 
daylight the papers announced that Kirby Smith 
had retreated southward, and that the siege of Cin- 
cinnati was at an end. 

I need not say that our Conference held a brief 
session, and that our ministers went as soon as 
possible to their respective fields of labor. Those 
who did so obtained passes in order to get out of 
the city. This event closed my connection with 
Christie Chapel as its pastor ; and I was appointed 
by Bishop Ames to the Church in Xenia, O. 

So deeply was I engrossed with the work in 
Cincinnati that I scarcely thought about a change 
of appointment. I received a telegram in a day 
or two from Hon. Moses D. Gatch, who was anx- 
ious for my appointment, as we were college-mates 
and bosom friends. The dispatch said, "Be sure 
to be in our pulpit next Sabbath." I soon re- 
ceived another to the same effect; and on Satur- 
day, after waiting for three hours to receive a pass, 
I left for Xenia, and on Sabbath entered upon my 
pastoral labors. 

My work in Christie Chapel was not in vain. 
A history of that Church, written by Rev. C. L. Con- 
ger, states that I received a larger number of mem- 
bers during my pastorate there, in two years, than 
had ever been received before in the same length 
of time, or has been received since. This was a 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

great surprise to me, as it must have been to the 
Church itself. It only proves that God's work may 
go forward in the face of the greatest difficulties. 
I can but attribute it to the grace of Him who kept 
my soul sweet, and prevented me from losing that 
'intense love of men which, I trust, I have felt from 
the beginning of my ministry until now. 

John Dubois was one of my trusted friends, a 
safe counselor and a consecrated man, full of the 
love of Christ. He lived and walked with God. 
He was one of the best examples of living holiness 
I ever knew. He read the writings of Wesley, 
Fletcher, and others, and thoroughly mastered 
them. His religion inspired confidence among 
business men. He was a model Christian. In all 
departments of Church work he was active. In 
him everybody had a friend, and every believer, 
from the strongest to the weakest, found encour- 
agement. It was his custom to arise in the morn- 
ing long before day, and commune with God and his 
Bible and the writings of good men and women. 
He led a large class for the promotion of Christian 
holiness, which was of priceless value to those who 
were connected with it. His love was as broad as 
humanity. Whether in prosperity or adversity, 
his heart was thoroughly fixed in God. During 
the time I was his pastor he announced to me, very 
calmly : 

" With my partner, I have failed in business. I 
presume I have lost all I have, and now nothing 
but poverty stares me in the face. Although I feel 
before God that I am blameless, I will lose the con- 

Christie Chapel, Cincinnati. 433 

fidence which I have formerly enjoyed among bus- 
iness men. I have no money with which to engage 
again in business, and will be compelled to retire.'' 

I remarked to him, "Mr. Dubois, 'A just man 
falleth seven times and ariseth again.' " 

He replied, " I have a peace and trust in God, 
which I believe will not be disturbed by any earthly 

The next day I met him again. His face was 
beaming with smiles, and he appeared to be happy. 
He said to me : 

" 0, how God sustains and blesses me ! As 
soon as my failure was known, a number of business 
men came forward and offered me money to re- 
sume business at once. I said to them, 1 1 can not 
give you any security;' and they replied, 'Your 
character and standing as a business man is all the 
security that we want. Just say what you need, 
and you shall have it.'" 

He resumed business. The Government em- 
ployed him, and he was soon in a better financial 
condition than he had ever been before. Although 
he met with the most severe trials, " none of these 
things moved him." A few years ago I received 
the news of his death at Madisonville, and with 
the news came the request that I should perform 
for him the last sad offices of friendship. I hast- 
ened to his home, met his wife and children, and 
they conducted me to a little house which was his 
place of prayer. There I saw a well-worn Bible, 
the chair on which he sat, and the place where he 
kneeled and communed with God, and I could but 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

say, " Mark the perfect man, and behold the up- 
right; for the end of that man is peace." To have 
known such a man, and to have enjoyed his confi- 
dence and his love, was worth a life-time of toil in 
the vineyard of the L,ord. His son George W. is 
now a minister in the Cincinnati Conference, and 
will continue as such, I trust, to illustrate the life, 
experience, and example of his sainted father. 

James Gamble was another illustration of the 
blessings resulting from a consecrated life. He 
was born in Ireland. He and his wife became 
members of Christie Chapel in its infancy. They 
were identified with all its interests, and with those 
of Cincinnati Methodism, and, indeed, with almost 
every enterprise which looked to the betterment of 
humanity. They were unobtrusive and exemplary 
in their deportment, humble and loving in their 
manner, and were given to hospitality. The 
Church had a home in their hearts, and humanity 
was embraced in the arms of their Christian love. 
The poor were never turned away without help 
from their habitation. It was enough for them to 
know that they were human beings redeemed by 
the same Christ, and the objects of his love. Their 
family was trained and nurtured in this Christian 
home, with the largest and most noble views of 
our religion. No wonder that James Gamble and 
his elect wife received the smiles of Him who said, 
"Give and it shall be given you, good measure, 
pressed down, shaken together, and running over." 
Business with them prospered, and money flowed 
into their coffers. He and his brother-in-law, 

Christie: Chapkiv, Cincinnati. 435 

Mr. Procter, his partner, conducted their business 
according to the Golden Rule. Their employees 
ultimately became partners with them, and shared 
the profits of their immense business. No strikes 
ever interrupted the business of that firm. Their 
children have followed their example as they have 
followed Christ, and are giving themselves, in im- 
itation of their sainted parents, to every good word 
and work. 

The Deaconess Home, of Cincinnati, which - 
bears the name of Elizabeth Gamble, and Christ's 
Hospital, are crowning monuments of their bene- 
factions, to say nothing of others which will con- 
tinue to stand and excite the admiration and grati- 
tude of thousands in years to come. They will 
be held in everlasting remembrance. 

I called one day upon a lady who lived near 
their residence. This lady was estranged from the 
Church. She ceased to attend its services, because 
she owed seven dollars and had never been able 
to pay it. She said she could never enter the 
Church again until it was paid. I expostulated 
with her, telling her that the Church had long since 
forgiven the debt ; but it was of no avail. I told 
her I would rather pay the money out of my own 
pocket, than have her feel as she did. After pray- 
ing, I left her in tears. 

I incidentally mentioned this matter to Brother 
Gamble, as I called on him immediately afterward, 
and he wept like a child. "Is it possible," said 
he, " that a lady should live so close to me in this 
condition, and I not know it?" Then, addressing 

436 Bringing the Sheaves. 

his daughter, he said : " Mary, bring me my pocket- 
book." She did so, and he took out seven dollars, 
and then took out twenty dollars more, and said: 
" Here is something for your struggling Church." 
I saw him no more on earth. 

O, that God would multiply such examples as 

I would that I could speak at length of David 
DeCamp, that loving, holy man ; of John T. John- 
son, who had a srnile for every one; of Benjamin 
Dawson; of Mrs. Ramp; of Mrs. Lee Cassidy, Mrs. 
Harrison, and a host of devoted women who were 
fruitful in all good works. 

With tears and regrets I left this loving people, 
to go to other scenes and engage in other work for 

XENIA. 1862-1864. 

I WAS most cordially received by the Xenia 
charge, and began my work with a resolve that 
I would preach and labor in the spirit of Christian 
love, believing that nothing would be gained by 
bitterness or vindictiveness. Xenia was a beautiful 
little city. The Methodist Episcopal Church had 
a strong hold upon the community. Its member- 
ship amounted to about four hundred persons, em- 
bracing many of the very best citizens of the place. 
For more that ten years there had been but little 
increase in the number of communicants. The 
church edifice was scarcely large enough to accom- 
modate the membership, if they were all present 
at one time. There was little prospect of doing 
any great aggressive work. 

Xenia was an anti-slavery town. It was in- 
tensely loyal to the Government. Large numbers 
of her citizens had rushed to the defense of the 
Nation, They were found on almost every battle- 
field ; and this produced in the minds of the citizens 
the keenest anxiety for absent friends. Nothing 
which had the semblance of disloyalty was toler- 
ated. The Wilberforce University, an institution 
for the education of colored people, was located 
near there, and large numbers of them from all 



Bringing the Sheaves. 

parts of the country were collecting there to enjoy 
its benefits. 

The United Presbyterian Church had two con- 
gregations, both of which were large and flourish- 
ing, and occupied a commanding position in the 
community. Their Theological Seminary was 
located there. At that time they were rather ex- 
clusive, and there was but little fraternal intercourse 
between them and other denominations. The Bap- 
tist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, German Reformed, 
and Covenanter Churches had congregations in the 
city. To a great extent the Churches controlled 
the morals of the town, and were held responsible 
for the morality and good order of the community. 
There were two female colleges, one under the 
control of the United Presbyterian Church; the 
other a Methodist institution, under the presidency 
of Professor William Smithy one of the most active 
and successful educators in the State. 

William H. Sutherland was my predecessor in 
the charge. We had been intimate friends for 
years, and it was a blessing to follow him. 

The excitement produced by the war was in- 
tense. The result of the struggle seemed to be 
doubtful. The question of slavery, like Banquo's 
ghost, would not down. While my own mind 
was overwhelmed with anxiety for my country, I 
could only meet the obligations of each day, and 
in my humble sphere pray and labor, not only for 
my country's weal, but for the good of humanity. 

The Church was in a better spiritual condition 
than I expected to find it. The Official Board 



rallied around me at once, and were ready to aid 
me in my work. The Sunday-school was in an ex- 
cellent condition. The infant class, under the 
training of Tobias Drees, was the best I ever saw. 
I visited from house to house continually. Almost 
every family had its sorrow, and almost every heart 
bled for loved ones far away. Every little while 
the body of some brave soldier was brought to his 
home, to be interred in the family burial-ground ; 
and, in a number of cases, I was selected to conduct 
the last sad rites. 

I sought to promote in all my visits the purest 
type of New-Testament piety ; for nothing else 
would do in a crisis like this. I believed that a 
general revival of religion was more needed than 
anything else. In this opinion I was in harmony 
with the views of all the ministers. When the 
Week of Prayer arrived, all the evangelical denomi- 
nations united in its observance. The prayers and 
labors of these union meetings had special reference 
to the promotion of a revival of God's work in our 
own town as well as throughout the country. 

The ist of January, 1864, was ushered in with 
the coldest weather I had ever known. It prevailed 
over every part of the country, and gave serious 
alarm for the safety of our brave, men encamped in 
various divisions of our army. They were made 
the special subject of our prayers. 

One Sabbath evening we met to invoke the 
presence and power of the Holy Spirit. The meet- 
ing began in the spirit, and so continued. It was 
the last meeting of the series, A deep solemnity 

44-o Bringing the Sheaves. 

pervaded the entire congregation. All realized 
that God was there, and toward the close the Spirit 
of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of real Chris- 
tian unity, drew the people more closely to- 
gether than ever before. Upon the faces of the 
ministers could be seen the proof of the moving 
and melting power of the Holy Spirit. Smiles, 
mingled with tears, were upon every face. Many 
said, "Did you ever see anything like this before?" 

Certainly Xenia had never witnessed such a 
spectacle as this ; and, from that hour to the pres- 
ent, God's people of every denomination in Xenia 
have been drawn more closely together than ever 
before. Truly, "the fellowship of kindred minds 
is like to that above." 

These meetings proved a great blessing to 
Xenia, and especially to my own Church. I began 
a meeting which was continued for weeks. The 
evidence of conviction was apparent everywhere; 
and soon a number were found seeking an interest 
in the Lord Jesus, and many young people espe- 
cially found Christ in the pardon of their sins. 

One evening a bright and noble boy came to 
the altar, deeply penitent, and earnestly pleading 
for mercy. The struggle was protracted, but the 
victory was complete. He was wonderfully con- 
verted. He could scarcely realize where he was, 
and was evidently amazed at the love which God 
had bestowed upon him. His father and mother 
had earnestly prayed for him, and were filled with, 
joy over his conversion. He united with the 
Church at once. The next morning he met me; 



and, with a face beaming with joy, he said, " God 
has called me to preach; to be a missionary." 

I think he was not twelve years old at that time. 
His name was Charles W. Drees. I watched over 
him lovingly. He grew in grace daily, and was 
soon sent to the Ohio Wesleyan University, where 
he graduated with honor. He then went to the 
Boston Theological Seminary, and completed the 
course of study in that institution, and then en- 
tered upon the active labors of the Christian min- 
istry. He was sent upon a mission to Mexico, of 
which he became superintendent. He published 
the first Methodist Episcopal paper in the Spanish 
language, of which he was pleased to send me a 
copy of the first number. Great success attended 
his work. He is now the honored superintendent 
of all the missions of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church in South America. 

Another boy was powerfully converted while I 
kneeled by his side and pointed him to Jesus. His 
name was J. A. White. God called him to preach 
the gospel, and for a number of years he has been 
one of the faithful, successful, and honored mem- 
bers of the Cincinnati Conference. At the same 
meeting still another boy was converted. God 
called him to preach, and for a number of years 
he has been engaged as a supply in our work. His 
name is W. R. Buckles. O let us care for these 
boys who have given themselves to Christ and to 
the Church! What fields of usefulness are before 
them! Many of the young ladies in the seminary 
were also converted and united with the Church, 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

Jonathan F. Conrey was my presiding elder. 
He appointed me to preach at one of the quar- 
terly-meetings on Saturday evening. A very re- 
markable case came before me. While 1 was 
preaching, a well-dressed, intelligent-looking gen- 
tleman came into the church and walked directly 
up near the pulpit and sat down in a pew, all 
bathed in tears. I had never seen him before, 
and knew not what to think. I invited those who 
were deeply concerned for their salvation, and de- 
sired an interest in our prayers, to come to the 
altar. He, with a number of others, came. 
Mr. Conrey at once kneeled by his side. In a few 
moments he came to me, and said, "That gentle- 
man wishes to see you." I went to him and 
kneeled by his side. He began by saying : 

"My case is a very remarkable one. I was 
brought up a Universalist. Two years ago I was 
traveling in the State of Iowa. I attended a revi- 
val-meeting, held by the Baptist Church, where I 
was strangely awakened to see my lost condition as 
a sinner. I made known my case to those present; 
and, through their counsels and prayers, I was led 
to Christ, and was happily converted. I continued 
to attend the meetings, until it was announced that 
any of those who had been converted and desired 
to receive the ordinance of baptism, would be bap- 
tized on the next day. I at once presented my ap- 
plication, and appeared with a number of others. 
I stood upon the bank of a stream, clothed in a 
baptismal robe, and the minister took me by the 
arm, and was about to lead me into the water, 



when one of the deacons of the Chnrch asked me 
if I was going to join the Baptist Church. 

**I replied, 1 I am not decided as to what Church 
I will join.' 

ai Then/ said he, 'I object to our minister bap- 
tizing you.' 

"Another officer of the Church came forward 
and insisted that the pastor should proceed with 
the ordinance. Then another opposed, and the 
pastor became perplexed, and knew not what to do. 
They took sides, until almost the entire Church was 
equally divided as to whether I would enter the 
Baptist Church. An unfortunate quarrel arose 
right at the water's edge, and great bitterness pre- 

" I became so disgusted that I threw off my bap- 
tismal-robe and left the place. The peace which I 
had enjoyed left me. A dark cloud settled upon 
me, and I made up my mind that I would never 
enter another Church service. I continued in that 
state of mind until this evening, when, walking 
along the pavement, I heard speaking. I did not 
know that the building from which it came was a 
Church. I paused a moment to listen, and I heard 
a plaintive, mournful voice. It seemed to be in 
harmony with the sorrow which overwhelmed me. 
In spite of myself, I began to weep, until my feel- 
ings were well-nigh beyond my control. 

" Opening the door of the building, gently, I 
saw you for the first time ; and was strangely drawn 
toward the pulpit and to the place where I sat 
down; and, when you gave the invitation for per- 


Bringing the Shkavks. 

sons to come forward, I was only too glad to come. 
And now, do yon think there is any hope for me? 
Can I trust God?" 

I said: "Yes; there is hope. Remember the 
'Prodigal Son.' Your Father's heart yearns to 
clasp you again in the arms of his love." 

His peace began to return. After giving me an 
expression of his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, 
and his determination to be a Christian, he said, 

"Would you be willing to baptize me by im- 
mersion, whether I join your Church or not?" 

I said, "Yes." 

"Then," said he; "will you receive my name 
to-night as a probationer?" 

I said, "Yes," and took his name and recorded 
it on the Church book. 

I found that he was a physician from the State 
of Vermont, who had come West for his health. In 
the providence of God, as he thought, he came to 
Xenia, and for a short time engaged in business 
there. He was threatened with pulmonary disease, 
and believed that he was the victim of consumption. 
I immersed him one day, when I had to remove 
the cakes of ice from the place in order that I 
might do it. We became warm friends. He visited 
me often, and confided in me as if we had been 

When summer came he left for Minnesota, with 
little hope that his life might be saved. He wrote 
me several letters, each one giving sad evidence of 
failing health, until, with the greatest difficulty, he 
wrote me his last letter, expressive of that triumph 



which God gives his suffering, dying saints. The 
end soon came, and that bright, beautiful young 
man, Dr. Hammond, entered into rest. I learned 
to love him on earth, and I shall greet him in 

Dr. Moore was married to my sister, Miss Sarah 
Caroline Fee, several years before the war broke 
out. He was a graduate of the Ohio Medical Col- 
lege, Cincinnati. He was a Christian, and a class- 
leader in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and a 
gentleman, whose life and conduct commended 
him to all who knew him. He was appointed sur- 
geon in the army early in the war, and was in sev- 
eral of the great battles on the Potomac, and met 
with many hairbreadth escapes. 

In the spring of 1863 he visited me in Xenia, 
spent Sunday with me, and attended the morning 
service and the class-meeting in the afternoon, in 
which he was especially blessed. He assured us all 
that, if that was his last meeting, he was endeavor- 
ing so to live each day as to have no fear of the 
future ; that he was even then assured that if he 
fell in battle, he would have a glorious entrance 
into everlasting life. 

In the latter part of June, General L,ee crossed 
the Potomac, and was threatening to overrun the 
North. Finally it became evident that a battle 
would be fought at Gettysburg — a battle which 
would decide the fate of the Rebellion, or the ques- 
tion of the unity of the States. 

Dr. Moore was in the Eleventh Army Corps, 

446 Bringing the Sheaves. 

which was made up very largely of Germans from 
Eastern cities. This division of the army made 
one of the first attacks upon Lee, and was driven 
in confusion through the streets of Gettysburg in 
the direction of Baltimore, and only paused on the 
brow of Cemetery Hill, located on the Baltimore 
Pike. Here the corps was joined by other forces, 
and made a stand. 

It soon became certain that the battle would be 
renewed at this point. The rebels, on the other 
side of town, were collecting in force, and getting 
ready for the conflict. There was heavy skirmish- 
ing on Thursday, and on Friday the bloodiest fight 
at Gettysburg took place. From a gentleman of 
great intelligence, who lived almost on the spot, I 
learned the following : 

General Lee, with his staff, was quartered in 
his residence. The Union forces became so strong 
that he feared to remain there any longer, and re- 
moved to the opposite side of the town. The gen- 
tleman referred to became satisfied that a battle 
would begin in the morning. He arose at the 
break of day, and, going out to the highest point 
on Cemetery Hill in order that he might have a 
better view of the situation, came upon an officer 
with several others of his staff. It was not long 
until they were joined by others, and a number of 
officers were present. 

A distinguished officer rode up to the general, 
and, saluting him, said : 

"General Meade, what shall we do?" 

"We will fight the battle here," replied the 



general; and after issuing a few commands they 
all retired. But in an incredibly short time, as far 
as the eye could reach, vast companies of soldiers 
were marching, and covered the field until they must 
have numbered nearly one hundred thousand men, 
front and rear, right and left, stretching from Culp's 
Hill to Round Top Mountain on the left. It was 
not long until the battle opened, and shells com- 
menced falling in the cemetery, and all along our 
lines. Two hundred thousand men were in deadly 

Dr. Moore was on the field superintending the 
carrying off of the wounded to a hospital some dis- 
tance away, when a part of a shell struck him in 
the hip, and he fell. The wound was mortal. He 
lingered for two or three days, and then expired, 
sending loving messages to his wife and his friends, 
that the religion that he had professed in his early 
youth consoled him in the last monents. He was 
buried on that beautiful hill. 

I soon received notice of his death, and with 
my brother, John S. Fee, hastened to the field, if 
possible to obtain his remains, and bring them to 
the home of my broken-hearted sister. On the 
Tuesday evening after the battle we arrived in 
Gettysburg to witness the terrible devastations of 
war. We could hear the booming of cannons at 
the crossing of the Potomac, where Lee was mak- 
ing his retreat as rapidly as possible. More than 
forty thousand people were killed and wounded. 
Never had there been such a terrible conflict in 
this Western World. Death and distress raged 

44 8 

Bringing the Sheaves. 

everywhere. The dead in large numbers lay un- 

We soon found the grave of Dr. Moore, and, 
after obtaining the liberty to transport his re- 
mains through the lines, we disinterred them, and 
had them hermetically sealed in a tin case. We 
spent nearly two days in passing over the battle- 
ground. Multitudes of people were there to secure 
the remains of their departed friends, or to comfort 
those who were wounded and dying. I passed by 
many places where near relatives, fathers, mothers, 
brothers, sisters were disinterring their friends. 
So fearful was the spectacle, it was too much for 
tears. I never saw a tear shed by any person on 
that historical battle-field. 

The rebel dead lay rotting in the bushes where 
they had fallen. In many places the ground seemed 
as if it had been sown with Minie-balls. Entire 
forests were so devastated by shot and shell, that 
they withered and died. In one place a powerful 
horse had received his death-wound, and in his 
terrible plunges had jumped onto a rock and died 

Near Baltimore Pike, to the left, as you go 
toward the city, a number of huge rocks, two of 
which lay at right angles to each other, were dis- 
covered. They must have been twenty feet high, 
and the angle pointed toward the rebel lines. I 
said to my brother : 

"That must have been a hospital, and a very 
secure one, during the battle." 

We found it to be even so. The rocks were 



covered with blood; and lint, bandages, and other 
evidences of a hospital were apparent. In one 
place there was a log of wood about a foot in diam- 
eter, within three feet of the perpendicular rock. 
Against that log some wounded soldier had braced 
himself, while his life-blood ebbed out on the rock 
beneath him. In looking at the face of the rock, I 
saw pieces of paper pasted there. They were in 
such a position that the wounded soldier would be 
near enough to read them as he sat there. On in- 
spection we found them to be leaves from a Meth- 
odist Hymn-book, and that one contained the well- 
known hymn, which I read as I had never read it 
before, beginning, — 

"Am I a soldier of the Cross, 
A follower of the Lamb ? 
And shall I fear to own his cause, 
Or blush to speak his name?" 

Rebel prisoners were coming in every hour. 
Some two or three long trains of box-cars were 
filled with Rebel officers. As I passed along, read- 
ing a New York Herald, a colonel said to me: 

" Is there any Yankee news of importance?" 

I replied, " Yes." 

"What is it?" 

" Vicksburg is captured." 

" We have heard that a hundred times before," 
he replied ; " but it is not true." 

" Yes, gentlemen ; it is certain." 

"Will you allow me to look at the paper a 
moment?" he asked. 

I gave him the paper, and they all gathered 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

around him who were within reach. He read a 
moment, and then, turning deadly pale, said : 
" Gentlemen, it is official." 

Said I, " There are other dispatches which 
come from Richmond which state that Port Hud- 
son is also captured." 

" Well," said he, " if we are driven to the 
Gulf, we will have to swim, that is all." 

I remarked, " The prospect for swimming is 

" It looks that way," he replied. 

I said, " Colonel, will you allow me to ask you 
what your opinion is as to the battle that has just 
been fought here ?" 

He replied, facetiously, "We are whipped; 
otherwise, it is a drawn battle." 

I replied: " Yes ; it appears to be. General 
L,ee has withdrawn some thirty or forty miles 
away, and General Meade is upon his heels." 

He then seriously said : " We lost the battle 
by just fifteen minutes. We found a weak place 
in the Union lines in the neighborhood of Round 
Top Mountain, and were certain that we could 
break through the lines at this place. But this 
required time. Before we were ready, Sedgwick's 
army corps filled the gap ; and instead of a picket 
line, as we supposed, we confronted one of the 
strongest divisions of the Union army. The mis- 
take was fatal to us." 

I gave him my paper, and left him with the 
kindest feeling, expressing my hope that w T e might 
meet some day under the " Stars and Stripes," in 



the spirit of unity and fraternity which knows no 
bitterness, no hatred. 

The Rebel lines were strewn with playing-cards, 
dime novels, and pernicious literature, to a fearful 
extent. Once in a while you would see the remains 
of a tract, or possibly a Bible or hymn-book ; while 
all along our lines, strewn in every direction, almost 
like autumnal leaves, you would find religious 
tracts, hymn-books, Bibles, magazines, and literary 
papers ; so that these silent witnesses revealed the 
type of the morality of the two armies. 

On my return, when I reached York, Pa., I was 
seated alone in the car, when an officer in a colo- 
nel's uniform asked the privilege of sitting by my 
side. It was readily granted, and we were soon 
engaged in conversation. The recent battle, the 
ravages of war, and almost every topic suggested 
by the trip were briefly discussed. I noticed that 
he was very cautious in all that he said ; and I was 
so, too. While the general subject of morality and 
religion was discussed, it was done in a way which 
would scarcely excite opposition from any quarter. 
I found him very polite and attentive, and I en- 
deavored to reciprocate in like manner. We spent 
a delightful day. The train was behind time, and 
I learned that I would not be able to make con- 
nections with any train going west until the next 
day near noon. It was midnight ; and yet we had 
not reached Pittsburg, and did not arrive there 
until two or three o'clock in the morning. 

" To what hotel do you purpose going?" this 
gentleman asked. 

452 Bringing the Sheaves. 

I replied, " I have none in view." 

"I am a stranger," said he; " and yon, I find, 
are a stranger in the city also. It might be to our 
mutual advantage to go to the same hotel [men- 
tioning one of the most prominent in Pittsburg as 
his stopping-place when he was in the city], and 
I will consider it a great favor if you will go 
with me." 

I went with him, and we walked. When we 
reached the hotel, he suggested that we occupy the 
same room. I consented; for he had long before 
won my confidence. 

We were preparing to retire. He was standing 
by his bed, and I stood by mine for an unusual 
length of time. I thought I would wait until he 
retired; but he did not do so. My object in doing 
this was to kneel in prayer, as I always did before 
going to bed. At length I fell upon my knees ; 
and a moment after I heard his knees touch the 
floor. We were both engaged in our devotions. 
I could hear his whispered prayers, and he could 
hear mine. The moment we arose, he said: 

"Well, you have taught me a lesson." 

I said, "How?" 

He replied : " I am a professed Christian. As 
you are a stranger, I knew, if I kneeled, it would 
show my profession ; and I waited until you should 
go to bed, that I might pray. But I find that you, 
too, are a Christian." 

He, evidently, was anxious to find out something 
more about me ; but he said : 

" I suppose you are anxious to sleep?" 



I replied, " Yes :" and we slept. 

When we awakened in the morning, he said : 

" I am most happy to have met you. I have 
some Government business to transact. As you 
can not get away until about noon, I must have 
the pleasure of taking you to Allegheny City, and 
of showing you over Pittsburg. 

I thanked him, and accepted his invitation. 
We spent hours together in Christian converse. 
When he learned that I was a minister, he was 
more closely drawn toward me than ever. He 

" I had a large amount of money with me last 
night, and I scarcely knew what to do ; but when 
I discovered that you were a Christian, I felt no 
uneasiness, and slept in security during the night." 

We parted as if we had been intimate friends. 
I took a train for Xenia. On the way to that city 
we were detained at a crossing for three hours, 
and had not left the place more than a half-hour 
until that celebrated Rebel, John Morgan, with his 
force, passed the very spot where our train had 
stopped; and that very afternoon he and his entire 
force were captured. While I was absent from 
Xenia, Morgan passed, in his raid, within a few 
miles of the city ; but he was as anxious to get 
out of the country as the people were to escape the 
ravages of his army. 


A number of the most prominent members of 
the Church and citizens of the town undertook to 


Bringing the: Sheaves. 

organize a new charge and build a new church. 
They pushed this work forward with untiring en- 
ergy from the very first. The necessity for this 
was apparent to me, and, I believed, to many others. 
A very large subscription was secured for this ob- 
ject, but not a sufficient amount to place the matter 
upon a proper basis. They desired me to assist 
them in this work, which I did as best I could. 

After we had done our utmost, we found that 
we would not be able to erect an edifice such as 
the friends of the Church and the citizens of Xenia 
would demand. There was in the community at 
that time a gentleman of much wealth, himself and 
family members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
but he could not be persuaded that a second church 
was necessary, and could not be induced to aid the 
enterprise with a subscription. 

His health was declining, and his friends began 
to fear that he would never recover. He had never 
been, as he believed, evangelically converted, and 
was conscious that he was not ready for the change 
if he should be called away. His family and friends 
believed that the great difficulty in the way of his 
conversion was his unwillingness to acknowledge 
that he was God's steward, and responsible for the 
use he made of his money. 

He finally asked me, one day, what my views 
were on this subject. I frankly told him that we 
were as responsible for the use we made of the 
money that was placed in our hands as we were 
for anything else. 

I had said and done all that I could to bring 



him to Christ ; but I knew all the while that there 
must be a surrender of himself, and all that he 
had, to God. I believed, as did his family, that 
if he could be induced to make a subscription to 
this Church enterprise, it would be to him a bless- 
ing; or, at any rate, it would be evidence that he 
confessed himself to be God's steward. 

I laid the matter before him, leaving my sub- 
scription-book, that he might ponder over it. His 
misery of mind increased. He evidently had no 
rest day or night. The great question to him was, 
"Will I surrender, or will I not?" 

I called upon him one day, and talked and 
prayed with him. When I arose to leave, he said 
to his son: 

"Where is that subscription-book? Bring it 
to me. What I am about to do I do with my own 
will and accord, because it is my duty to God and 
the Church to do it. Bring me a pen and some 

They were brought, the subscription-book was 
opened at the place, and the subscription was 
written. He took the pen, and, with a trembling 
hand, affixed to it his name. When he came 
to the amount, he wrote the figures with one 
flourish of the pen. Dropping it instantly, he 
exclaimed, . 

" God has saved me ! I am converted ! I have 
found Christ ! I am willing now to depart and be 
with Jesus !" • 

For weeks afterwards he lived in this happy 
frame of mind. His end was peace. When I ex- 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

amined the book, after reaching my home, I found 
that he had subscribed one thousand dollars. This 
was an unexpected amount, and it secured the 
building of the present Trinity Church in Xenia, 
which stands as a monument of the liberality of 
many of its members, and as a monument of the 
wisdom of presenting our gifts to God before 
we die. 

When my time in Xenia was just expiring, it 
was impossible to remove Mrs. Fee to a new charge, 
for she had been ill for several weeks. We were 
compelled, of course, to vacate the parsonage ; but 
to remove her then to another place would be to 
imperil her life ; so some way must be open for us 
that we could not see, or else her life might pay 
the forfeit. Just at this time, our dear friend, 
Mrs. Tobias Drees, a sister of William H. Hypes 
and Fletcher W. Hypes, both of the Cincinnati Con- 
ference, with all that tenderness and benevolence 
for which she had been so long distinguished, 

"You must go to my house. I will take all 
possible care of you. I will endeavor to do all that 
a mother or sister could do; and, as you must leave 
the parsonage to-morrow morning preparatory to 
your removal to another charge, I will be ready to 
receive you." 

During the night the rain poured down in tor- 
rents, and the idea of our moving seemed almost 
madness. ,We lay awake until after midnight. 
O how dark it was to us then ! As we talked and 
wept over our condition, we heard footsteps on the 



veranda. In a moment all was still, then a num- 
ber of voices began to sing: 

" There is an hour of peaceful rest 

To weary wanderers given ; 
There is a tear for souls distressed, 
A balm for every wounded breast : 

'T is found alone in heaven." 

The voices were gentle and sweet; and the senti- 
ments of the hymn which they were singing were 
as appropriate as they were good, but we wept in 
silence. We had no earthly home then ; but bright 
visions of a future and eternal home came up in 
all their brightness and beauty before us. We be- 
lieved that God sent these friends in the hour of 
our supreme need. We never knew who the sing- 
ers were, nor whence they came ; but their visit and 
their song at the midnight hour swept away the 
last shadow of despondency from our hearts. 

They departed silently ; but the Spirit of Him 
who sent them, and who hath said long before 
to his sorrowing children, "I will not leave you 
comfortless," abode with us then, and abides with 
us still. We sweetly slept. In the morning, in 
perfect harmony, we left the parsonage, and were 
tenderly carried to the home of our dear Brother 
and Sister Drees, who watched over Mrs. Fee for 
weeks until she was able to remove to our new 

A few years ago I was sent for to officiate at the 
funeral of Brother Drees. He was as dear to me 
as my own brother. With many tears I paid my 
humble tribute to the memory of this. good man. 


Bringing the Shkaves. 

He had been brought up in the Roman Catholic 
Church; but became acquainted with the Meth- 
odist people of Xenia, and, through the example 
and influence of Father Hypes and his family — for 
he was a patriarch in Xeuia and the country round 
about — he was led to Christ. He was happily mar- 
ried to their daughter, who yet survives, and is full of 
faith and good works. 

The son of Brother and Sister Drees, Charles 
W. Drees, who claims to be my son in the gospel 
of the Lord Jesus Christ, is now superintendent of 
the missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church 
for the entire continent of South America. Their 
family connections are scattered all over this 
Western land, and are honored for their devotion to 
the cause of Christ and their imperishable monu- 
ments of faith and good works wherever they are 

I might also speak of Brother Cheney, who 
was then an honored member of the Methodist 
Church in Xenia. He has passed to his reward ; 
but his son, David D. Cheney, is a consecrated 
minister of Christ, and an honored member of the 
Cincinnati Conference. Nathan Nesbitt was an- 
other father in that Church. Samuel A. Brew- 
ster married one of his daughters. He was an 
able minister of the New Testament. He was 
presiding elder for years ; but God took him in 
the midst of his usefulness. His son, William 
Nesbitt Brewster, is now a missionary in China, 
where he is leading thousands to Christ. A second 
daughter was married to John W. Mason, now 



stationed at Milford, O. ; and their eldest son is 
a promising yonng minister. A third daughter was 
married to John M. Murray, a devoted and useful 
layman of our Church at South Charleston. Their 
mother, Mrs. Clarissa B. Nesbitt, recently deceased, 
was a descendant of that distinguished preacher, 
Benjamin Lakin. Mr. and Mrs. White were de- 
voted friends of the Church. They have given to 
the ministry one son, John A. White, who is doing 
earnest work for Christ. 

I might speak of Alfred Trader, John Nune- 
maker and his family, Mr. and Mrs. John B. Allen, 
the large family of Wrights, Father Rockhill, John 
B. Murphy, Mother Keagy and family, Mrs. New- 
ton and family, Mr. Shearer and family, the Hon. 
Moses D. Gatch — whose wife was called away to 
her reward during my pastorate there — Mr. Mc- 
Gurvey, the large family of Connables, the Davises, 
Swaneys, General Merrick, who also had a son 
that labored for years in the itinerancy of the Ohio 
Conference. I might also mention Mr. Silas 
Roberts, the Manors, Mr. Lauman, John Horn, 
Mr. McElwaine, William F. Pelham, Mr. Thirkield, 
William Cary, Dr. Clark, Dr. Wilson, and a host 
of others of whom I might speak in terms of 
equal praise. I never knew any one Church to 
have within its pale so large a number of substan- 
tial members. Brother McElwaine still lives, one 
of the influential Methodists of Xenia. 

The new charge called " Trinity " has been 
doing a special work, and its necessity in the city 
has been fully demonstrated. The city is growing, 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

and both of the Churches are rising with it into 
greater prominence than ever. Of Professor Smith 
I have already spoken, and have mentioned his 
educational work in Xenia. By John Horn — 
whose daughter was united in marriage with 
James Stephenson, a useful and talented member 
of the Cincinnati Conference — I was treated with 
the greatest kindness. 

The saddest memory connected with that place 
was the death of my oldest sister, Mrs. Louisa F. 
Goodwin. Nor can I forget that gallant young 
soldier, Frank Shearer, the brother of Judge 
Shearer, now of the Court of Common Pleas of 
Greene County District. He was a thorough 
Christian, and his army life was a benediction to 
all who knew him. At the battle of Resaca, he 
stood, as a comrade informed us, leaning his 
head upon his musket and engaged in prayer, 
when the enemy fired, and he was shot through 
the brain, and instantly expired. One of the sad- 
dest funerals I ever attended was his. He is safely 
housed to day in that home where the noise of 
battle will be heard no more. Scores were con- 
verted during my ministry in Xenia. Many were 
added to the Church, and I expect to meet them 
and greet them in the Church above. 

Our youngest daughter, Catharine, now Mrs. 
Dr. Whitesides of Dayton, O., was born in Xenia. 
We scarcely expected that she would live; but 
through the tender care of loving, Christian friends, 
she is spared to us to bless us with her love and kind 
attentions in our closing years. 


URBANA. 1864-1867. 

'HE Conference of 1864 was held in Greenfield, 

1 Bishop Simpson presiding. At the same time 
the Ohio Conference met in Chillicothe, Bishop 
Ames presiding; and a reunion of the two Confer- 
ences was arranged for. They met in Chillicothe, 
where Bishop Simpson delivered the greatest ad- 
dress of his life, in which he predicted the triumph 
of the Union army, the entire abolition of slavery, 
a united nation, and a glorious career for the coun- 
try for ages to come. 

At this session of the Cincinnati Conference, 
the bishop appointed me to the First Charge in 
Urbana, Ohio. He did this at the earnest solici- 
tation of my friend, Michael Marlay, the presiding 
elder on the Urbana District. 

The war still continued, and its terrible results 
were apparent all over the land ; and Urbana was 
no exception. I became the guest of Samuel W. 
Hitt. Here I found a home that was a home in- 
deed. They had just lost a son, a prominent 
young man, in one of the battles near Atlanta; 
and I began at once, not only there but in every 
stricken home, to offer them the consolation which 
is only found in the Christian religion for bleeding 

462 Bringing the Sheaves. 

and wounded spirits. A friendship began then 
and there which, I believe, will endure forever. 

Urbana was one of the oldest and most desir- 
able appointments in the Conference. It was set- 
tled by a number of noted families, most of whom 
were either connected with or gave their influence 
to the Methodist Episcopal Church. Here was a 
widely-known family in Methodism, the Hitts, 
with some of their connections. The Hon. Moses B. 
Corwin, a brother-in-law of Judge McLean, resided 
here. The widow of Ex-Governor Joseph Vance 
was also a resident of Urbana at that time, and 
her family were prominent Methodists. T. Cun- 
diff, a leading merchant in the place; Joseph 
White, father-in-law of Dr. J. F. Marlay; a large 
family of the Kanagas; Mother Wright, who for 
more than seventy years had been a member of 
the Methodist Church ; Hester Shyrigh, one of the 
most remarkable women in the State of Ohio ; the 
Reynoldses, Youngs, Iyeedoms,Happersetts, Samuel 
Hedges, James Hedges, Revs. J. W. Smith, and Win. 
Haller; Drs. Carter, J. W. Goddard, H. C. Pearce, 
and Joseph Brown; the Russells, the Rev. David 
Warnock, General FyfFe (of the United States 
Army), Mason Arrowsmith, the Kentons, the 
Prices, Talbots, P. Ross, Mr. Morris, Mr. Hum- 
phreys, Mr. Clark, Revs. A. C. Deuel, J. Bruner, E. 
Kimber, and Wm. Sampson, — these, with a host of 
others, were represented in the Methodist congre- 
gation. In Urbana there were two charges, and 
William L,. Hypes was pastor of one of them. 
Nothing could give more gratification to myself 



and family than to have him for a colleague. He 
and his excellent wife met us as brother and 
sister, and have never treated us otherwise. 

At first it seemed to me that I had little else 
to do but to secure the salvation of sinners. I 
had depended upon what ministers had told me, 
and supposed that I would have the largest body 
of workers I had ever had in any of my charges. 
Large numbers of the inhabitants were in the 
army, and Urbana felt to a fearful extent the 
effects of the war. While many of the members 
labored faithfully, and, by their consecration, their 
zeal, their piety, and their earnestness, endeavored 
to promote the work of God, a large majority 
were doing little, and some were doing nothing, to 
promote the cause of Christ. They sat calmly 
by, and supposed that the "wheels of Zion" 
would move forward without their assistance. 
They were simply idlers in the vineyard of the 

There had been no revival for several years. I 
saw at once that there was needed a great moral up- 
heaval in the community. Many of the young peo- 
ple had lapsed into indifference. The children of the 
prominent members, to a great extent, were uncon- 
verted, and were depending and basing their hopes 
of heaven more upon the piety of their relatives 
than upon the Lord Jesus Christ. It was to me a 
new state of things, and I wondered how I would 
ever be able to meet these difficulties, and to fulfill 
my mission in that time-honored city. It was evi- 
dent that these people would sleep until they were 

464 Bringing the Sheaves. 

awakened. How could I wake them? became the 
all-absorbing question. I must preach plainly and 
lovingly the gospel of the Lord Jesus in its fullness. 

I began to do this, and spoke in an unusual 
way. Many of the older members were pleased ; 
but those who were sleeping were displeased with 
anything which would rouse them out of their 
slumbers. A number were true to all the public 
and private duties of the Church. Others were 
willing to do that kind of work which required no 
self-denial or self-abasement. 

Brother Hypes and myself held a union-meet- 
ing for a week or two, with some success in arous- 
ing the Church, and in bringing delinquent mem- 
bers back to duty ; but there was no general spirit 
of conviction. When we separated I continued 
the meeting, and found, after a time, a general 
awakening, especially among the young people ; 
so we had a number of conversions. Several inter- 
esting young men were among the number ; but I 
lacked the power to make me eminently success- 
ful. I prayed for success day and night. 

There were eight or nine local preachers in the 
charge. When I went there, preachers informed 
me that I would not succeed, because there were 
so many local preachers ; that they constituted an 
element of weakness. I remarked that I regarded 
them as an element of strength, and should so 
esteem then, and use them in my work. I was 
informed that the Church was not willing to hear 
some of them preach. 

The quarterly-meeting came, and Dr. Marlay 



preached on Saturday morning, and appointed me 
to preach on Saturday night. I said : 

" Brother Marlay, will you allow me to manage 
the meeting to-night in my own way?" 

He said, "Yes." 

When the time came for the meeting, every local 
preacher and exhorter was present. This was sur- 
prising to many. They could not account for it. 
I opened the meeting, and, after prayer, announced 
that we would have some eight or nine sermons 
preached that night, and that no sermon would 
exceed five minutes in length. The presiding 
elder disapproved of this, but allowed me my own 
way. One who was regarded as the most unac- 
ceptable was the first to speak. He " struck fire" 
at the very beginning, and gave us a wonderful five 
minutes' talk. Another followed, and he was pecu- 
liarly happy in his remarks. Thus we went 
through, with eight or nine little sermons in the 
time which is generally required to preach one. 

The local preachers were pleased, the people 
were delighted, the presiding elder was surprised, 
and I was gratified beyond description. From that 
day I had the co-operation and sympathy of that 
large body of local preachers and exhorters, and it 
taught me a lesson which I have never forgotten. 
Treat local preachers and exhorters right. Recog- 
nize them in their official capacity, use them as best 
you can, and you will create a bond of union be- 
tween them and yourself and the Church at large. 

In the pulpit I lacked freedom in prayer. A 
strange embarrassment was in my way. I prayed 


Bringing the; Sheaves. 

that I might be delivered from it. One Sunday 
night, in the midst of our meetings, the power of 
the L,ord came upon me. My subject that night 
was, "The Trembling Jailer." At the conclusion 
of my discourse there was great excitement all 
over the congregation, and when I invited seekers 
to come forward, the keeper of the county jail 
came running forward trembling, and fell upon his 
knees and cried out bitterly, "What shall I do to 
be saved?" I believe he was converted. 

While a large number were converted during 
these meetings, and many were reclaimed, the re- 
vival failed to exert that deep, thorough, and all- 
pervading influence which the town and the Church 
required. Much good had been done, the congre- 
gation was largely increased, and a spirit of enter- 
prise was awakened among the people. 

The church edifice was much dilapidated. It 
was not up to the times, and was not such a church 
as the wealth and position of its members required. 
They were not in the habit of giving liberally, and 
it seemed impossible for them to realize that giv- 
ing implied some degree of sacrifice at least. But 
they set at work, and the church was soon so com- 
pletely remodeled that it seemed like a new edifice, 
inside and out. The people were greatly pleased 
over it, and proud of the improvement ; but there 
was a debt hanging over it that I believed could be 
raised, but others did not see it so. I never faltered. 
Some of the oldest and most prominent members 
refused to subscribe one cent. They had been 
labored with for years, but without results. When 



the work was undertaken, I begged the privilege of 
approaching them alone, and desired that no one 
else should interfere. One day I visited a brother 
who was the most hopeless case, so far as giving 
was concerned, and told him all about our contem- 
plated improvement. When I got through, he 
promptly told me that he would not give one 
cent, for the reason that the Lord would be dis- 
pleased with any such improvement. I told him 
that the L,ord had not revealed his displeasure to 
me, as far as I knew. He then said: 

" I am a lover of antiquity, and I have a great 
reverence for the old pulpit, posts, galleries, win- 
dows, and seats. This, in itself, is sufficient to 
prevent me from subscribing any thing." 

His wife begged him not to put me off in that 
way; but it was of no avail. I then remarked, 
that his love of antiquity, so far as he was con- 
cerned, had taken a strange turn. Said I : 

"You have the finest furniture, the grandest 
piano, the handsomest carpets, and the latest style 
of curtains and fixtures of any house in this county, 
and yet the church of God looks more like a barn 
than a church, " and I took my hat to leave. 

Said he, "You will not go without dinner?" 

I said, "Yes." 

"Where are you going?" 

I replied: "I turn to the Gentiles. I go to the 
outsiders for help. I shall have sympathy from 
them, if not from you." 

He called to me, and said, "Don't go away in 
such a spirit as that." 

468 Bringing the Shkaves. 

I paid no attention to him, but went on. The 
next day I passed his farm where he was engaged 
in shocking up wheat. I bowed to him, and he 
called out, "How is the church getting on?" 

Said I, "You have no interest in that," and 
passed on. He called after me, but I paid no at- 
tention to him. 

A day or two afterwards I purposely passed his 
farm. He was engaged in his oat-field. He came 
running up to the fence to meet me, and said, 

" Well, how is the church ?" 

"You are not interested in that," I replied. 
"How are your oats?" 

Said he, " I want to hear about the church im- 

"You have no interest in it; good-bye," and 
I left. 

Sabbath morning came, and I preached as usual, 
and made some announcement about the church 
improvement. Just as I was about to dismiss the 
congregation, this gentleman said, 

"Will you allow me to speak a moment?" 

I hesitated a moment as though I would re- 
fuse, and then remarked, hesitatingly, " I suppose 
you may." 

The congregation was large, and every eye was 
looking at him. Said he : 

" I have been thinking, this week, a great deal 
about that church improvement. I refused to sub- 
scribe any thing ; but it has made me very un- 
happy, and now I want to say that I have given 
myself to the L,ord and Brother Fee. And now, 



Brother Fee, I will give whatever you want me to 

I replied, "The giving is yours; you must de- 
cide as to the amount." 

"Will fifty dollars do any good?" 

"Put it down," said he; and it was with great 
difficulty that the congregation could avoid cheer- 
ing, for it was so unexpected. He was completely 
broken down and cured. 

When the day of re-dedication came, Bishop 
Wiley was in the pulpit, and preached a sermon of 
great power. We were in debt two thousand dol- 
lars. The members of the Church, who had not 
been in the habit of giving liberally, supposed that 
it could not be raised. One of the first to arise was 
my friend, who called to the bishop, and told him 
that he had given himself to the Lord and Brother 
Fee. "And now," said he, "if Brother Fee will 
allow me to judge how much I ought to give, I 
will put down one hundred dollars." 

This started the subscription, and the one-hun- 
dred-dollar subscriptions came in rapidly. About 
the time the two thousand dollars was raised, he 
wanted to subscribe another hundred ; but I refused 
to let him do so. I thought he had done enough, 
and that we ought to give others a chance. 

As I now remember, we raised two thousand 
five hundred dollars, which was five hundred dol- 
lars more than we really* demanded. None was so 
much gratified and rejoiced as my friend, who was 
such a lover of "antiquity" at the first that he 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

could not subscribe one cent toward any improve- 
ment. To me, aud indeed to the older members 
of the Church, it became manifest that a broad 
foundation had been laid for a wonderful revival of 

The day of the re-dedication was one long to be 
remembered. The church edifice was now beauti- 
ful. As an audience-room it had but few superiors. 
It presented to the Methodists of Urbana a most 
attractive spectacle. The contrast between this 
and the former audience-room was of most marked 
character. The love-feast, wdiich was held in the 
morning, was one of great interest and power. 

Mrs. Rebecca White — who was regarded by 
Bishop Ames as one of the most remarkable 
women he ever knew — in her quaint, plain, simple 
manner, spoke that morning. Some who were 
present had doubtless heard her experience a hun- 
dred times; and yet such was its simplicity, fervor, 
and power, that it was always an inspiration to 
those who heard it. She faced the audience, and, 
looking thoughtful for a moment, said: 

"Well, this looks like a flower-garden. It was 
not so when I joined the Methodist Church. But 
I had my day, and I am willing that you should 
have yours." Then she gave her wonderful expe- 
rience with a power which overwhelmed the con- 

It was a great day for the old pioneer families 
of Urbana and vicinity, who had feared that this 
church improvement might destroy the spirituality 



of the Church. It had taken away a great deal of 
the selfishness, and left them with a better type of 
spiritual religion than they had before. We now 
had a united Church; and it did seem to me that 
the windows of heaven were about to be opened 
and showers of blessings descend upon us. 

Our Civil War was yet raging. Much bitter- 
ness had been engendered. We needed some pow- 
erful influence to arrest and beat back the power of 
darkness, and to save our children from being car- 
ried away in the vortex of worldliness. 

It was now the second year of my pastorate in 
Urbana. I had been received with great cordiality ; 
and the Church was ready, I believed, to sustain 
me. It became more apparent to me that a 
great work was needed in the Church. How to se- 
cure it was the question. A large number of the 
older members were with me in their prayers, and 
their faith, and their efforts. We began a revival- 
meeting in this spirit. These persons stood by me ; 
and yet, with a membership of several hundred, the 
congregations at our weekly night -meetings were 
comparatively small. For four weeks, night after 
night, this struggle was continued, but without any 
marked result. None of us as yet had been bap- 
tized with the Holy Spirit in a special manner. 
We had not been endued with power from on high, 
which we believed had been promised in the New 
Testament, and which was essential to the promo- 
tion of the great work which we felt was to be 
done. We were looking for a great work — a kind 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

of moral earthquake. This was the model revival 
which our faith grasped; but it would not come in 
our way. 

Four weeks passed in this earnest conflict; and 
many said, "Why not discontinue the effort?" 
But my faith never wavered; it was not in a hurry 
for results. I found that I must wait patiently for 
the Lord. After I had done my utmost, there was 
no apparent conviction among the unconverted, 
and no special awakening of the backsliders. Just 
in this crisis, a little girl, seven years of age, the 
daughter of one of the most devoted members who 
was ever connected with the First Church in Ur- 
bana, begged the privilege of uniting with the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, and gave her heart 
to Jesus. In the fight of unbelief, this was truly 
the day of small things. 

We had a meeting one afternoon, and about 
forty were present. It suddenly came into my 
mind that one great reason why God did not bless 
us was the fact that the members of the Church 
were unwilling to do their duty as they saw it, and 
I said to them : 

"You are all members of this Church; and I 
believe the reason why this revival influence is 
stayed, is because you are unwilling to do your duty. 
Faith implies perfect submission to God's plans 
and God's ways, and the conditions which he im- 
poses. How many of you will agree to do just 
what I ask you to do to-day, provided it is in har- 
mony with your convictions of duty? As many of 
you as are willing to do this, to remove what seems 



to be the last barrier out of the way of a revival, 
and take hold upon God, arise." 

Every one in the house arose. 

"Now," said I, "I shall ask a number of you 
to pray to-day, even if you are not able to speak 
more than half a dozen words, for an immediate 
descent of the Spirit. Many of you have never 
prayed in public." 

We all kneeled ; and the very first one I called 
on was Mrs. Judge C, who said, 

"And must I pray?" 

I said, "Yes." 

She made a humble, penitent prayer. Before 
we arose, more than twenty of those whom I had 
never heard before led in prayer ; and it did seem as 
if the windows of heaven were open, and showers of 
blessings were descending upon us ; that the day 
of victory had come. 

At our meeting in the evening an unusual 
number of the members were present, and it began 
in the Spirit. In a short time a wonderful bap- 
tism of the Holy Ghost came upon the officers of 
the Church. It was difficult to close the meeting 
that night. So far as I know, no sinners were 
present; but my faith then was, and is to-day, that, 
whenever the Holy Ghost in a special manner is 
poured out upon the Church in renewing and sanc- 
tifying power, at the same time he comes as a con- 
victing spirit among the ungodly. It was so on 
the day of Pentecost, and it is so now. 

Mark what followed. Before seven o'clock the 
next morning, one of the prominent business men 


Bringing the; Shp:aves. 

of Urbana rode up to the parsonage and presented 
himself at the door. I invited him in; but he 
said : 

"I haven't time. I have come to report to 
you as my pastor. In all my life I have never 
been so blessed as I was last night. My love of 
souls is intense, and I must go out after perishing 
sinners around me." 

Two others had caught the same spirit; and 
that day was not only a day of much prayer, but 
a day of work for Christ. In the afternoon a gen- 
tleman, whom I had never seen in Church, a sports- 
man of the first type, the son of a godly mother, 
and who had married a granddaughter of one of 
the governors of Ohio, came to me, and said : 

"I "must talk to you. I am the most miserable 
man in Urbana. About nine o'clock last night" — 
that was the time at which the wonderful blessing 
came upon the Church — "I was returning from 
the room where I had been engaged in card- 
playing a large portion of the day, and just as I 
was crossing the railroad on my way to my resi- 
dence, I was awfully convicted of my lost condi- 
tion as a sinner, and cried aloud for mercy. I 
ran to my home, and eagerly sought my wife, but 
she was not to be found. After much searching, 
I heard her voice, as she was kneeling in a private 
room, in earnest, pleading prayer for the salvation 
of her soul and mine. At once I kneeled by her 
side, and we prayed most of the night. To-night 
I am going to the mourners' bench, and will 
never rest until I am saved." 



He went over the town telling his acquaint- 
ances that he was going to the mourners' bench 
that night to seek the salvation of his soul, and 
begged them to do likewise. He said that he had 
found others in the same condition as himself. 

The proprietor of the most prominent saloon 
in the city at the same hour was standing behind 
his counter, and was handing a glass of liquor 
across to one of his customers, when he was 
seized with the awful conviction that he was a 
lost sinner, and emptied the liquor, and dashed the 
glass down on the floor at his feet, saying to his 
customer: "Get out of this ! I will never sell an- 
other glass of liquor! I am going to save my 
soul!" Besides him, a gambler and a wholesale 
liquor-dealer, and many others were convicted of 
sin and converted. Truly, "the slain of the L,ord 
were many." 

A wonderful influence at once engrossed the en- 
tire community. Shows, saloons, theaters, dances, 
and gambling-halls were to a great extent deserted; 
and the subject of religion and the wonderful 
meetings were everywhere talked of, until several 
hundreds were either reclaimed or converted. A 
very large number united with the Church, and 
the Church generally was quickened and reclaimed. 
The official members were all united with me in 
this gracious work. An unusual number of young 
men and young ladies - connected with the fore- 
most families of Urbana were subjects of this 

Those who had been most liberal and devoted 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

to the church improvement shared largely in the 
blessing. Such was the character of the conver- 
sions and the zeal inspired by the holy spirit of 
love, that they went out everywhere as earnest 
workers with me in promoting the revival. 

Mrs. Samuel W. Hitt, whose guest I was when 
I came to Urbana, and whose son had fallen in 
battle in the South, bitterly lamented his death. 
It seemed that she could endure no more. One 
night, while the large church was densely packed, 
I was strangely impressed to speak from the words, 
" Go forward," and was led to such a train of 
thought as inspired her to make one more effort, in 
spite of the sad experience through which she was 
passing, to give her all to Christ, and work for 
him as she had never done before; and she came 
out into a broader and richer experience than she 
had ever known. It was to her an hour of victory 
which will never be forgotten in this world nor in 
the world to come. From then until now she has 
been one of the most earnest and devoted workers 
of the Church in Urbana. 

That night two prominent officers of the United 
States Navy were present; and although they 
were wicked, they were overpowered by the won- 
derful influence which came upon, not only Mrs. 
Hitt, but upon the large congregation. When I 
asked any who were convinced of sin, and felt 
their need of Christ, and desired the prayers of 
God's people, to arise, these distinguished officers 
were the first to do so. I approached them, and 
congratulated them upon their step. They said, 



" How could we do otherwise?" Said one of them : 
" I have long known Mrs. Hitt ; and her personal 
experience, the very brightness of her face, is 
to me the most wonderful scene upon which my 
eyes ever gazed, and I shall carry it with me to 
the end of my life." 

The commander, J. F., has often named this 
to me since as a scene which impressed him more 
deeply than he had ever been impressed before. 

It was not long until Mr. Hitt, his wife and 
daughters, Annie and Lizzie, and his sou George, 
all embraced each other in the Church of God, 
uniting for the first time in the bonds of love 
sweeter than life and stronger than death. I re- 
marked to the congregation, "Behold the happy 
family !" 

John W. Hitt also rejoiced in the conversion of 
all of his large family who were out of Christ. 
One of his daughters had been so opposed to the 
altar of prayer that she deliberately made up her 
mind that she would run the risk of being lost 
rather than be found a penitent at the altar. She 
finally, however, was so deeply convinced of sin 
that she was glad to find help anywhere. I have 
seldom witnessed such agony as she experienced. 
She was happily converted, and to this day is a de- 
voted follower of Jesus. 

Perhaps the most successful worker in this re- 
vival was Mrs. Hester Shyrigh. After her conver- 
sion, which was one of marked character, she heard 
William H. Raper, of precious memory, preach a 
sermon on the " Parable of the Sower," which con- 

4 ;8 

Bringing the Sheaves. 

vinced her that she was living far below her 
privileges as a Christian, and that there was for 
her a higher, deeper, broader religion than she 
had ever found before. She sought this with 
watching and fasting and prayer, night and day, 
until at last she entered into the blessed experi- 
ence of purity of heart, and into that perfect love 
which casteth out fear. She, humble but happy, 
confessed this, to the glory of the Lord Jesus 
Christ. This at once, on the part of lukewarm 
professors in the Church, provoked criticism and 
persecution. But, true to Christ, none of these 
things moved her, and she counted it a joy when 
she fell into divers persecutions and trials. Her 
love knew neither riches nor poverty, but embraced 

One ground of objection to her at this time 
was, that neither her husband nor her children — 
for she had a large family — were converted. For 
years she struggled for victory; and at last her 
husband was converted, and one or two of her 
children who were grown. When I was appointed 
to Urbana, she begged me to pray that God would 
convert all her children during my pastorate ; and 
their case strangely lay upon my heart. Never 
did any member stand by a pastor as Mrs. Shyrigh 
stood by me. When this revival began, her chil- 
dren were soon brought under its influence, and 
were all converted and brought into the Church; 
so that the reproach which had been brought up 
against her that her children had not been con- 
verted, pious as she was, was taken away; and be- 



fore the revival closed this happy mother rejoiced 
in the salvation of her entire family. 

At all hours of the night she would be sent for 
to visit the sick and the dying. Many a poor, 
neglected, sick, and dying colored woman praised 
God that they ever met Mrs. Hester Shyrigh. One 
of these, who was wonderfully converted through 
her ministration, when she was dying, said, u I 
will be a star, Mrs. Shyrigh, in your crown of re- 
joicing in the day of the Lord Jesus. " She was 
just as much devoted to the rich as to the poor, 
believing that she owed this to every one because 
Christ tasted death for every man. Her faith was 
phenomenal. In her prayers there was an inde- 
scribable influence which made one feel that God 
was there. 

I was Mrs. Shyrigh's pastor for three years. 
She spent weeks and months, I might say, with 
me in my revival work. As a guest in my family, 
no one was more welcome than she. She would 
pray with her eyes wide open, and yet seem to be 
oblivious to all around her, especially when she 
was praying for the salvation of seeking souls. 
Such earnest pleadings in prayer I never heard 
from any one. Sorrow for the penitent and a 
yearning for his salvation was depicted upon that 
remarkable face until victory came. She knew it 
was victory, because the Holy Spirit evidently re- 
vealed it to her before she heard the joyful shouts 
of a newly-converted soul, or gazed upon the coun- 
tenance of one who had just been brought into 
the family of God. 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

I know no lady of my acquaintance whom 
I have so often heard pray publicly for penitents. 
I believe that I am safe in saying that, while I 
have heard her pray, more than two hundred souls 
have been converted to God. Her faith inspired 
the faith of those who were around her; and 
where persons were at the altar, I do not now re- 
member that I ever heard her pray when some 
one at the altar was not blest. I can not say this 
of any one else whom I have known during my 


During one of our meetings I passed through 
the congregation to converse with persons as op- 
portunity might serve me. My attention was 
called to a large and intelligent-looking gentleman, 
whom I had never seen before. I greeted him 
kindly as a stranger, when he said : 

" I have been strongly impressed to-night that 
I ought to arise and express to the congregation 
the emotions which have come over me during the 
meeting. I am a traveling man from Cleveland. 
Curiosity brought me to this place. I had an hour 
or two before the train was to leave, and I was led 
to spend it here. Almost as soon as I entered the 
church a strange feeling came over me, for which I 
can not account. The record of my past life came 
up before me in fearful array. The habit of my 
life has been to be indifferent in places of religious 
worship. I have been given over to amusements 
of various kinds — theaters, cards, and dances. I 


had a pious and devoted mother, whose sympathy 
and prayerful interest followed me to the day of her 
death. This was soon forgotten, as I was immersed 
in the pursuit of business and the pleasures of the 
world. To-night her lovely face, her tender words, 
her fervent prayers, her blameless life, have passed 
like a panorama before me. My life has been a 
failure. I am a sinner, and I know not what to do. 
About the only hope I have for the future is in the 
prayers of my sainted mother," and he began to 

I urged him to speak and present his own case 
to the congregation, which was large. He did so, 
and the interest of the congregation was marvelous. 
He said : " If there is any worse hell than I now 
suffer in my own mind, I pity the mortal who feels 
it. In a short time I must bid you good-bye. 
Do n't forget the stranger. I probably shall never 
see you again," and closed by asking the prayers 
of all. 

Mrs. Shyrigh, previously referred to, made a 
public prayer for the young man, just as he bade 
us good-bye. Eighteen months after this she was 
in my house. While she was with me the door-bell 
rang. I answered it, and a stranger met me, who 
asked, "Do you know me?" I did not recognize 
him at the moment. He said : 

"Do you remember W., from Cleveland, who 
was at one of your meetings one night? I wanted 
to see you once more on earth, and to tell you that 
soon after we parted on that winter night I found 
Jesus in Cleveland, and have been a happy man 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

ever since. I have just twenty minutes that I can 
spend with you. Will you permit me to come in, 
and will you pray with me before I leave?'' 

I said, " O yes." He came in, and was rejoiced 
to see Mrs. Shyrigh. We made brief prayers, and 
bade him good-bye. He left us rejoicing, in the 
wondrous love which he enjoyed. After this I 
met him in Hamilton, and again in Cincinnati. I 
learned that he was remarkable for his usefulness 
in the Church of which he was a member. 


One Sabbath night I preached from the text, 
"The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee." 
The church was crowded to suffocation. Hundreds 
went away who could not obtain admission. Per- 
sons of all classes and shades of opinions were pres- 
ent. I was led to speak of character, and to de- 
scribe it with much vividness. This I was in the 
habit of doing. I had unusual liberty. 

A large number of seekers were present. I 
was charged the next day by several persons with 
being offensively personal. I had drawn their pic- 
tures. I had no acquaintance whatever with most 
of them, and was delighted to believe that the Holy 
Spirit had fastened conviction upon their hearts. 
It gave a great impetus to the revival. 


For ninety nights the large audience-room of the 
First Church in Urbana, had been densely crowded. 
While some of my ministerial brethren — John F. 



Marlay, Adam Bowers, David Warnock, and the 
noble band of local preachers in the Chnrch — once 
in a while came in to aid me, the management of 
the meeting, with the responsibility of it, was 
about all that I could endure. And yet, strange to 
say, my health was good. 

One morning I was awakened at three o'clock 
with a pain in one of my little fingers, at the first 
joint. I supposed that I had dislocated it; but 
found this not to be the case. It removed to the 
next joint, and the next, and then to my wrist, and 
then to my shoulder, when a severe congestive chill 
ensued. I supposed that I was about to fall in the 
harness, and go from this wonderful revival to the 
abode of the blest. Finally I became almost un- 
conscious. A high fever ensued, and when I 
opened my eyes, I imagined myself in the midst of 
the church in my revival work, carrying it on as I 
had done before. I was visited by some five or six 
physicians. It was reported in the town that I was 
about to die, and the wonder is that I did not. Un- 
ceasing prayer was made for me. Rev. Michael 
Marlay said: 

"He will not die. He is a verv feeble man; 
but he has a constitution like India-rubber. I shall 
be greatly surprised if he is not at our love-feast on 
Monday evening." 

This was on Saturday. Strange to say, on 
Monday evening I was there, and received many 
evidences of Christian love. 

The work went on without any serious embar- 
rassment. It was not of me, it was of God. 

484 Bringing the Sheaves. 


I first knew the Rev. Enoch G. West when a 
very young man, in Williamsburg, Ohio, in 1843. 
He was handsome in person, deeply consecrated to 
God, and a successful class-leader. He was a prom- 
ising young man, an excellent singer, and beloved 
by all who knew him. He was connected with 
one of the oldest pioneer families of the State. I 
was instrumental in having him deliver his first 
public exhortation. Through my influence he was 
licensed to preach, and was soon recommended to 
the Annual Conference for reception on trial, was 
duly received, and became a successful minister of 
the gospel. He was abundant in labors, which, 
indeed, were so great that his constitution became 

When I became pastor of the First Church in 
Urbana, he, with his family, was residing there, 
and was overjoyed to see me. He said to me : 

"I do not expect to live very long. It was 
through your influence, more than that of anybody 
else, that I became a minister of the gospel. Since 
I have been here I have been satisfied that my work 
is done, and I prayed that God might send you 
here; for I had a faith, somehow, that you would 
be instrumental in leading my children into the 
Church and to the Lord Jesus Christ. I rejoice 
that you are here; for I now have a friend who will 
give me his counsel, and sympathize with me and 
mine in my sorrow." 

During the revival his children were brought 
into the Church, and this part of his prayer was 



answered. He was a shining example of patience 
during his affliction. His life faded away as fades 
the light of the setting sun. Loved and lamented 
by all, he received every kindness which was 
needed. One day Mrs. S. W. Hitt visited him 
when he appeared to be standing on the banks of 
Jordan. She brought him a beautiful bouquet of 
flowers, and, presenting them to him, said : 

"Please accept these as evidence of my sym- 
pathy and Christian regard for you." 

He received them, and holding them up before 
him, smilingly said : " Sister Hitt, how beautiful 
these flowers are ! But I am looking across the Jor- 
dan to the other side, and behold the flowers there 
which will never, never fade!" 

In a little while he slept in the arms of Jesus, 
as babes sleep in the arms of their mothers. 

Mrs. Angie West, from that time until now, has 
borne aloft the standard which fell from the hands 
of her sainted husband, and has exemplified in her 
life and spirit the religion which so wonderfully 
consoled him in his last moments. 

Two of their daughters, Mrs. Shepard Grove 
and Mrs. Charles Jamieson, remain in Urbana, earn- 
est, devoted, useful members of the Church to which 
their sainted father gave almost his undivided life. 


At the beginning of the war a young man en- 
listed as a soldier, who had been an earnest worker 
and devoted member of the Church; but the vicis- 
situdes of war had, to some extent, chilled the zeal 

4 86 

Bringing the Sheaves. 

for which he had been noted. When he returned 
from the war, in which he reached the rank of 
colonel, he did so with a high sense of honor. He 
looked calmly at his life while a soldier, and com- 
pared it with the requirements of God's Word, and 
saw and keenly felt his backsliding from that high 
standard. He met me one evening, and a conver- 
sation took place between us, which neither of us 
will ever forget. He frankly confessed his unfaith- 
fulness, and, in view of this, felt that he ought not 
to remain any longer a member of the Church. 
When the whole case had been presented to me, I 
replied : 

" While any departure from God is to be de- 
plored, remember that your record is not such as 
to require you to dissolve your connection with the 
Church, and your withdrawing from it would only 
make the future of your life more miserable, and in 
the end more difficult to rectify. The errors of the 
past may be corrected by obtaining Divine forgive- 
ness. The path of life is before you, and you are 
invited to enter it. By going back to the world, 
everything is lost. By going forward, everything 
is gained that is worth gaining in this world and 
eternal life will be yours in the end." 

In the dusk of the evening we walked and talked, 
and, I believe, we both prayed for Divine direction. 
He made up his mind that he would remain in the 
Church, and endeavor to be more faithful than he 
had ever been, and give his life to God. From 
that time until now his example has been worthy 
of imitation, and his life has been a happy and use- 



ful one. The Church has honored him with an 
election to the General Conference, and for a num- 
ber of years he was one of the judges of the Court 
of Common Pleas. 

With him it was the hour of temptation, and 
the very least thing was liable to send him in the 
wrong direction, and ruin him forever. He has 
often spoken of this as the turning-point in his 
history. Let this example of Judge William R. 
Warnock encourage timid young men in the hour 
of conflict. 

His father, David Warnock, was one of the 
ablest ministers of the Cincinnati Conference. 
Years since he passed to his reward in heaven, 
leaving two sons and several daughters as monu- 
ments of his wisdom in training his children in 
the path of everlasting life. He was my presid- 
ing elder, my friend, my counselor. His widow, 
formerly Miss Hitt, still lives, honored and loved 
by all who know her. 


Mrs. Corwin, a sister of Judge McLean, of the 
United States Supreme Court, and wife of Hon. 
Moses B. Corwin, formerly a member of Congress 
from Ohio, was a devoted Methodist when I be- 
gan my pastorate in Urbana. In a short time she 
was brought to a dying bed. She was an heroic 
Christian. With her, death was a vanquished foe. 
It was my privilege to participate in her funeral 
exercises, and to read the burial service at her 
grave. One of her sons was a Supreme Judge of 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

the State of Ohio, and another was a judge of the 
Court of Common Pleas in Champaign County. 
Ichabod Corwin was a devoted Christian, and his 
memory will long live in Urbana, and in the region 
where he was so well known. His widow yet lives 
in Urbana, to mourn his loss. 

John Hamilton was a noble specimen of pio- 
neer Methodism. As a steward, class-leader, and 
exemplary Christian, he had bnt few equals any- 
where. I followed his body also to the cemetery; 
but his memory lives, and will be held in ever- 
lasting remembrance. Captain Singleton, a sea 
captain, and a man of great intelligence and moral 
worth, was another to be remembered; and Isaac 
Mast, also, whose life was a benediction to those 
who knew him. John Kanaga was an untiring 
worker in the vineyard of the Lord. Dr. J. W. 
Goddard, son of a distinguished Methodist preacher, 
widely known in Western Methodism, was there, 
and stood by me in my work. Dr. H. C. Pearce, 
another prominent physician, was my friend, and 
yet lives, a member of the Church. His father be- 
came one of the prominent members of the Church 
of Urbana. Philander Ross, connected with the 
Second Church, a man with few equals, I knew in- 
timately, and loved tenderly. Dr. Joseph Brown, 
James W. Anderson, Thomas D. Crow, Professor 
A. C. Duel, Judge Levi Geiger, and a host of others 
who have been a benediction to Urbana and the 
country around, I could name, did space permit. 




At first General Kenton's remains were interred 
at Zanesfield, Logan County, Ohio; but as he had 
formerly been a citizen of Urbana, and a large 
number of his relatives and friends resided here 
and in Champaign County, the Legislature voted 
to have them removed to the beautiful cemetery at 
Urbana, and an appropriate monument erected 
over them at the expense of the State. The act- 
ing governor of the State of Ohio, Charles Ander- 
son, a brave and gallant man, was selected to de- 
liver the funeral address, and he gave us a most 
impressive history of this brave and distinguished 
Indian scout and spy. 

General Kenton was a friend and associate of 
my grandfather, and of my father also ; and I was 
selected to officiate as chaplain on the occasion. 
An immense concourse .of people were present. 
Before the funeral exercises began, the under- 
taker, Mr. Stevenson, invited me into his office, 
and, opening a small box, showed me the remains 
of that remarkable man whose name will always 
be connected with the history of the early settle- 
ment of the country, especially Kentucky and the 
Northwest Territory. His frame was small, and 
his physiognomy must have been peculiar. 

I have heard my father say that he was fre- 
quently a guest at my grandfather's home. He 
was always on the alert; would instinctively turn 
his face to the right and then to the left; would 

490 Bringing the Sheaves. 

appear to pause, listen to catch some sound; would 
look upward at other times as if to detect some 
concealed Indian in the trees along the path which 
he traveled, or, perchance, some panther which 
awaited his coming. 

His life as a spy disqualified him for other 
pursuits of life. He had few business qualifi- 
cations. He was not able always to pay his debts. 
Some of his relatives informed me that he was 
once imprisoned in Urbana for debt. A law which 
imposed imprisonment for debt was an outrage. 
The man who had saved hundreds of lives at the 
risk of his own, was compelled to endure the penal- 
ties of this outrageous enactment. After this he 
lived in Logan County. 

At a camp-meeting he sought an interview 
with Rev. Robert W. Finley, father of Tames B. 
Finley, and begged his counsel and prayers. He 
informed Mr. Finley that he was a broken-hearted 
sinner. In the woods they kneeled together, and 
God, for Christ's sake, converted him, and, almost 
leaping, he ran into the camp and told his friends 
what a dear Savior he had found. He united with 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, and lived and 
died in its communion. 

At one time he was condemned to be burned 
by the Indians who had captured him, and only 
escaped through the intervention of Simon Girty, 
who had deserted his countrymen and identified 
himself with the Indians. Afterwards, it is said, 
Kenton met at a camp-meeting a number of these 
Indians, who had been converted and with whom 



lie rejoiced in the profession of the religion which 
brought "Peace on earth and good-will to men." 

My labors in Urbana were attended by a re- 
vival each year. Hundreds were converted, and 
large numbers of these lived and died in the faith. 
During my pastorate there I superintended three 
camp -meetings; the first at Arrowsmith's, the sec- 
ond on the ground where the camp-meetings have 
been held annually ever since. I assisted in laying 
out the grounds. 

Frank G. Mitchell had just been licensed to 
preach, and recommended to the Annual Confer- 
ence for reception on trial. He preached his first 
sermon on the camp-ground in 1867. 

At the conclusion of my second year the Con- 
ference was held at Ripley, Ohio, presided over by 
Bishop Thomson. My labors had been regarded 
as remarkably successful, and were highly spoken 
of by my honored presiding elder and friend, 
Michael Marlay. He said to me, when I reached 
the Conference: "Remember, you must return to 
Urbana. No other arrangement will do;" and at 
the very first meeting of the cabinet he fixed this, 
telling the bishop that it must not be disturbed. 

In the midst of the Conference session I re- 
ceived the startling announcement that Brother 
Marlay was stricken down with cholera; and it 
was feared that the attack would be fatal. I 
hastened to his room — he was the guest of N. 
Cradit — and found him prostrate. He extended 
his hand lovingly, and said: "I am very sick; 
but I think I will rally, and all will be well in a 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

short time." But I noticed alarming symptoms. 
Speaking familiarly to me, he said: "I think I 
shall recover ; but if I do n't, William, it 's all 

That night the messenger of death came, and 
the work of this great and good man on earth was 
done. The next day was Sunday, and to me it 
was a sad day. It became necessary to hasten 
his funeral. Before twelve o'clock on the Sab- 
bath, arm in arm with his son, John F. Marlay, I 
followed his remains, as a mourner, to the boat 
which received them. I shall never forget the 
scene and impressions of that hour. The shock 
to the entire Conference and to the community at 
large was fearful. 

Robert Wallace, a distinguished Wesley an 
preacher from Ireland, and a visitor from the 
Irish Conference to the Methodist Episcopal 
Church of the United States, was at the Confer- 
ence. He left on Saturday, reaching the city of 
Cincinnati in the evening ; and early Sunday 
morning he was seized with cholera. By ten 
o'clock he had passed away, and Bishop Thom- 
son next morning read a dispatch to the Confer- 
ence, "Dr. Wallace died yesterday of cholera." 
It was a great shock. There was one unanimous 
exclamation in every part of the audience of alarm 
and amazement. The Conference speedily came 
to a close. We went down the river, crowded on 
a small boat. Others were attacked by the dis- 
ease ; but none of the cases proved fatal. 

I hastened back to Urbana to commence my 

Urbana. 493 

work, feeling as though I had lost a father. 
William Simmons was appointed presiding elder 
in the place of Dr. Marlay. I began my labors 
with the assurance that they would not be in 
vain. The result of my two revivals had been 
encouraging, and about two hundred and twenty- 
five persons were received into the Church. 


What Methodist pioneer in Ohio has not heard 
the name of Rev. George W. Maley? He was 
the friend of my grandfather, my father and 
mother, and of my own boyhood and young man- 
hood. His wonderful prayers in the family circle, 
his quaint and unique remarks in the pulpit, had 
strangely impressed me. He removed to Urbana; 
and when I met him there, he said : 

"William, I have removed to Urbana to die. 
My health is rapidly failing. It was in my heart 
to return again to the bosom of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, from which I was separated at 
the time of our unfortunate division in the year 
1846. I was advised not to do so, as it would 
look like fickleness, and was unnecessary; so I 
yielded to the advice, and concluded to live and 
die in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South." 

I said: "I regret this. I do not believe that 
the advice of your friend was proper ; but I have 
nothing to say, and shall not interfere, retaining 
all the kind and loving feelings which I have 
always had for you, and which I believe you have 
always entertained for me." 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

Said he: "I rejoice in that now. I have one 
request to make, and it is this : Yon are the pastor 
of my wife, and I want yon to be my pastor and 
friend. I want yon to visit me in the sickness 
which I fear will soon be npon me, pray for and 
help me; and when I am gone, I want you and 
Ivorenzo D. Huston, of Nashville, Tenn., to offi- 
ciate at my funeral." 

In a few months he was brought to his dying 
bed. During his last sickness he had great peace 
in believing. His only hope was in the mercy of 
the lyord Jesus Christ. I visited him often. Mrs. 
Shyrigh and Mrs. Fee were often requested to 
visit him, and sing and pray with him. In this 
he greatly rejoiced. 

William Simmons and myself visited him in 
company. We were old friends. He said to me : 

" It is well with me; but I must admit that, 
since the year 1846 " — the time of his separation 
from the Methodist Episcopal Church- — " my life 
in many respects has been a blank." 

I always regretted his unfortunate action ; but 
it never interfered with the ardent affection which 
I felt for him. He often shouted the praise of 
God in his last sickness, and his face was lit up 
with a heavenly radiance. At last, in peace, he 
died. Dr. Huston and myself officiated at his 
funeral. While the friends were taking their final 
leave, previous to the removal of his remains to 
Spring Grove Cemetery, Dr. Huston stepped for- 
ward to where I stood, and said: 

''Brother Fee, is it not time that Isaac and 



Ishmael should make friends over the dead body 
of their father Abraham?" Then said he: 

"Some of Brother Maley's family are not con- 
nected with any Church; and I beg of them, this 
day, before his remains are removed, to come for- 
ward and give Brother Fee their hands, in token 
of their desire to unite with the Methodist Church. " 

His youngest daughter, eight years old — a 
beautiful child — did this, and a son. 

That year I was blessed with another revival of 
religion ; and a large number were converted and 
united with the Church. My three years closed, 
and I had to leave the scene of my labors and 


HAMILTON. 1 867-1 870. 

THE Conference of 1867 met in Urbana, Bishop 
Ames presiding. The large Official Board of 
the charge, numbering more than thirty members, 
had unanimously petitioned for my appointment 
as presiding elder of that district, in order to have 
me remain in that city, and exercise some pastoral 
care over those who had been brought into the 
Church during my pastorate. 

Bishop Morris, who was present at the Confer- 
ence, rebuked them sharply for what he termed 
their selfishness ; told them that, if I was such a 
pastor as they represented me to be, there were 
other places that needed me more than they did. 

We had a delightful session. My honored 
father, who was present — Arthur Fee — gave his 
religious experience at the love-feast. While he 
was speaking, a remarkable influence came upon 
those who were present. The scene will never be 
forgotten by those who were there. One of the 
ministers remarked quaintly, that when the Lord 
called my father to preach, I must have answered. 

The Conference closed. I had no idea as to my 
appointment up to the last hour. I might have 
learned by asking, but would not. It had been 
voted to hold the next Conference in Hamilton. 



Asbury Lowrey had said to me a little while be- 
fore the appointments were read out : 

" Do you know that you are needed in Hamil- 

I replied that I did not know they wanted me 

"My impression is," said he, "they do not 
want you, but they certainly need you;" and that 
fact was announced a few minutes after. The 
bishop said: 

"Brother Fee has entertained the Conference 
so handsomely here, that I will send him to enter- 
tain the Conference at Hamilton and my ap- 
pointment was fixed there. 

In 1842, when I was received on trial as a 
preacher, the Ohio Conference met in Hamilton, 
Bishop Morris presiding — just twenty-five years 

At the time of my appointment, the city con- 
tained a population of at least ten thousand. It 
had been for many years a prominent charge in 
the Ohio Conference, and had been served by 
many of our able and efficient ministers; but 
the progress of the Church had never been rapid. 
There was a very large church-edifice, which had 
been erected a number of years before. It was 
about one hundred feet in length, and seventy-five 
feet wide, and was two stories high. The lecture- 
room was very low, the ceiling being only seven 
feet high, and was a very undesirable room in which 
to worship ; but it had been constructed according 
to the idea of the church architecture prevailing 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

at the time it was built. Arthur W. Elliot, by 
his liberality and energy, had perhaps been able 
to do more than any other man to complete this 
edifice. His home was near the city. He was 
one of the remarkable pioneer Methodists of that 
day, somewhat eccentric, but eloquent in his ser- 
mons and discourses on popular occasions. To 
hear him once, was to remember him always. He 
removed many years before his death to Paris, 
111., where he died in the triumphs of a faith 
which he had proclaimed to others during a long 
and useful life. I found a large portion of his 
family and connections in Hamilton and its 

I have already stated that my appointment 
was a surprise to me and to others. Charles Fer- 
guson had served the Church for one year previous 
to my appointment, and his return was expected. 
His appointment, however, to Wesley Chapel, Cin- 
cinnati, was desired ; and with his own approba- 
tion and consent, he was sent there. By many 
in the Church this arrangement was not received 
kindly. They knew but little, if anything, about 
me. When they heard of my appointment, it only 
increased the dissatisfaction which already existed 
in regard to Mr. Ferguson's removal. 

I heard nothing from them ; but hastened, as 
was my custom, to my new charge. I was almost 
a complete stranger. I was satisfied, a few days 
after my appointment — I could scarcely tell why — - 
that it was not agreeable to the people. This, 
however, gave me no serious trouble. I did not 



seek it, and would not shun it. By God's grace I 
would go to the charge as cheerfully as I could ; and 
by my devotion to its interests would labor for 
God's glory, and make it as agreeable to the people 
as I could. 

No one knew the time of my arrival ; and as I 
had no acquaintance, so far as I knew, whose hos- 
pitality I might claim, I started for the hotel. 
This was no trial to me ; I had no claim on the 
people of Hamilton, unless something 'better was 
cheerfully awarded me. Before I reached the hotel, 
however, an old friend and parishioner from Ninth 
Street Church, Cincinnati, overtook me. He said, 

" Is it true that you are appointed to the Ham- 
ilton charge?" 

I answered, "Yes." 

"Where do you stop?" 

"At the Hamilton House," said I. 

"At the Hamilton House!" he exclaimed. 
"Has no one invited you?" 

I replied, "No." 

"This will never do," he exclaimed. 
"It must do," said I. 

He paused for a moment, and then said, "Wait 
a moment, and I will go with you to the hotel ; for 
I stop there." 

So far as I now remember, I had not the least 
unkind thought toward anybody. It was not a 
matter of feeling with me, but a matter of pro- 
priety. In a moment he returned with a very 
pleasant gentleman, whose face was covered with 

500 Bringing tiik Sheaves. 

In presenting him lie said, "Brother Fee, I 
have the pleasure of introducing to yon one of 
yonr parishioners, Mr. Thomas Fitton." 

We greeted each other in a cordial manner. 

"Are you on your way to the Hamilton Hotel?" 
Mr. Fitton inquired. 

I replied, "Yes." 

" That arrangement," said he, " will not do. 
You go with me to dinner. We supposed that you 
would not "be here until in the afternoon. You are 
to be the guest of W. A. Iy. Kirk." 

I yielded at once, and met with a very cordial 
reception from Brother Fitton and his wife; and I 
number them now, after twenty-seven years, among 
the dearest friends I have on earth. 

I might have stood upon what might be called 
"my dignity;" and, as I saw afterwards, might 
have wrecked myself. Before the sun went down, 
however, I received the most kindly attention, and 
felt strangely at home. Before my arrival, how- 
ever, the opposition to me, for the reasons stated 
above, had crystallized into the form of a written 
protest, which was being pushed very actively. It 
was presented to the Hon. Thomas Milliken, who 
at the time was reading a letter. When the pro- 
test was presented to him, and his signature re- 
quested, he said : 

"I can't sign it. Here is a letter I want you to 
read. It is from the Hon. Judge Corwin, a distin- 
guished Methodist lawyer of Urbana." 

The judge gave a most glowing account of my 
labors and successes, and expressed sincere regret 



that they could not retain me for three years 
longer. The judge was a warm friend of mine, 
and presented a more hopeful case, so far as I was 
concerned, than was justified. The brother, who 
was soliciting Mr. Milliken's signature, threw the 
protest into the fire, and said, in the kindness of 
his heart: 

"We must stand by him. Why, I did not 
know that he had such a record as is given him." 

This was on the Saturday of my arrival; and 
on the next Tuesday evening he gave me one of 
the grandest receptions I ever received, and has 
been a warm friend of mine ever since. If the 
new pastor and his new congregation had not 
pursued the course indicated, we might have had 
a very unhappy time. 

On Sabbath morning I delivered my first dis- 
course to the people. The church was about one- 
third full; but my soul was melted into tenderness 
before the Lord. My predecessor, Charles Fergu- 
son, was alarmed for me. He spent Sunday in 
Cincinnati. When he returned, he was amazed at 
the change that had taken place, and asked me 
how it happened. I told him that God had done 
it. I was there in his name. I was laboring for 
his glory, and he cared for me according to his 
promise. From that day I was at home in Ham- 
ilton. I make this statement at length, as it was 
the only difficulty of the kind I have met with in 
all my ministry. Young preachers and disap- 
pointed congregations may learn a lesson from 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

At this time the city of Hamilton was regarded 
as the headquarters of the great whisky ring. 
Men were becoming wealthy in a short time by 
speculating in whisky. The great political com- 
binations of the State were formed here, and the 
most bitter partisan battles were fought in this 
region. The motto appeared to be, "Get rich if 
you can honestly, but get rich at all hazards." 
While a large number of the members of the 
various Churches, remained true and faithful to 
their profession, they were greatly discouraged, 
and the spirit of piety was rapidly dying out. 

At that time Dr. Davidson, of the United Pres- 
byterian Church, the German Lutheran minister, 
and myself were the only Evangelical Protestant 
ministers in the city. The Roman Catholics had a 
large following there. There was a large German 
population, and among these there were a few 
Methodists. With these discouragements I began 
my ministry in Hamilton. We had an excellent 
Sunday-school, with an unusual number of young 
people who were deeply interested in the Church. 
I visited from house to house, not only among the 
members of my own Church, but among those who 
had not been in the habit of attending any place of 
religious worship. 

I soon began to agitate a church improvement. 
We needed something to inspirit the Church, to 
arouse it from its slumbers. The Lord began by 
his Spirit to move upon the hearts of the uncon- 
verted. We had a number of conversions, and 
about sixty united with the Church, This gave us 



great encouragement. In the beginning of the 
year 1868 we pushed vigorously the enterprise ot 
the church improvement, and secured a subscrip- 
tion of ten thousand dollars without much effort. 
We met with considerable opposition among the 
members ; but believed that the salvation of the 
Church, to a great extent, was to be found in the 
success of this improvement, and we prosecuted it 
day and night. 

We raised the church some six feet, at the ex- 
pense of one thousand four hundred dollars. The 
audience-room was frescoed, and completely re- 
fitted. We also had one of the best lecture-rooms 
in the Conference, with a ceiling twelve feet high. 
It was a model Sunday-school room. Every inter- 
est of the Church was now provided for. 

At the beginning I was appointed chairman of 
the Building Committee, and, with about two 
others, I had most of the work to do — raising sub- 
scriptions, collecting money, superintending the 
laborers, sometimes to the number of one hundred 
at once, paying out money, and keeping the ac- 
counts. In July I came very near losing my life 
by becoming overheated. Energetic efforts were 
made on my behalf, and through the skill of Dr. 
Dick and the careful nursing of my friend Joseph 
Curtis, and, above all, the grace of God, my life 
was saved ; but every summer since then, about 
the same time in the year, I feel very sensibly the 
effects of this stroke. 

The work was completed, and all parties were 
satisfied and enthusiastic over its success. The time 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

of the re-dedication arrived. Bishop Wiley preached 
the sermon, and it was a great day for Methodism 
in Hamilton. There was a small indebtedness, 
but the trustees were not willing that any col- 
lection should be lifted. I was not sufficiently re- 
covered to be at the re-dedication; but God had 
wonderfully blessed the effort we had made. I 
had been supported by most of the official mem- 
bers : the Hon. Thomas Milliken, Philip Berry, 
Thomas Fitton, G. M. Flenner, Dr. Peck, W. A. h. 
Kirk, Joseph Curtis, S. K. Lighter, and others. 

To crown the success of the year, the Cincin- 
nati Conference was to hold its Annual Session 
here. I was enabled to make ample prepara- 
tions for its entertainment. The preachers received 
from all denominations, and those not connected 
with Churches, a most cordial welcome. Bishop 
Clark presided. Bishop Kingsley was also present. 

The Conference began August 28, 1868, and a 
large number of the ministers of the Conference, 
together with an unusual numbers of visitors were 
in attendance, and it was a session of great interest. 
John S. Inskip, the noted evangelist, thrilled by 
the inspiration of that great love which now filled 
his heart, was like a flame of fire. He held numer- 
ous meetings during the session of Conference, and 
this, with the preaching of ministers and other 
religious exercises, proved a great spiritual uplift 
to all. The preachers, and especially the people, 
were pleased. Each minister spoke as if he 
had been entertained at the best place, and each 
family seemed to feel that it had entertained the 



most agreeable visitors. Much prejudice had been 
removed, and I believe the fruit of that Confer- 
ence session yet lives in Hamilton. 

The Church people were enthusiastic for my 
return. There was no opposition in any quarter, 
so far as I know. I began my second year's work 
with a new inspiration. I had an impression that 
God was willing to give us a wonderful revival of 
religion. I made preparation for it at once. The 
necessity for such a work became apparent to all 
thoughtful minds. 

The Rev. Dr. Davidson, of the United Presby- 
terian Church, and myself were the only ministers, 
so far as I know, who were specially anxious upon 
the subject. Wickedness was increasing. The 
public conscience appeared to be asleep. Crimi- 
nals had but little fear of the law. The love of 
money was in the ascendant. Dr. Davidson was 
anxious that we should secure the services of that 
noted evangelist, E. P. Hammond. I corresponded 
with him, but he gave us no assurance of help. 
We met together on Monday morning, and spent 
some time in conversation and prayer on the sub- 
ject ; but the heavens appeared to be brass, and 
the earth iron. 

One Monday morning especially, the burden 
was upon our souls as never before. Dr. David- 
son talked to God as such a man would speak to 
his friend ; told the Lord how lonely and helpless 
we were, and how public opinion was against us ; 
that Romanism, political parties, whisky, and 
worldliness seemed to be united against us, and in- 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

quired, "Who is sufficient for these things?" He 
then said: 

"L,ord, Brother Fee and myself differ, it may 
be, as to what is denominated power as it was 
given on the day of Pentecost. Thou knowest just 
what it is; and if we ask bread of thee, thou wilt 
not give us a stone; and if we ask fish, thou wilt 
not give a serpent. We now ask thee to give us, 

God, this power, whatever it is. We know it 
is a good thing for ministers, and a good thing for 
our Churches. Give to us this power in a wonder- 
ful measure !" 

It seemed to us that God heard and answered, 
and that victory would come, sooner or later. Soon 
after this, as I was prayerfully reading the Scrip- 
tures, my eye rested upon these words: "If two of 
you shall agree on earth, as touching anything that 
they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my 
Father which is in heaven." 

The idea of a covenant with God came to my 
mind, and was so impressed upon me that I could 
not get rid of it. In a most prayerful manner, as 

1 trust, I wrote these words, quoting the words we 
have used above, and headed it, 


"We, whose names are hereunto subscribed, sol- 
emnly covenant together and agree, that we will 
pray twice a day in secret for a revival of religion 
in our hearts, in our Church, and in all our 
Churches, and throughout the city of Hamilton; 
and that we will labor for the same until God's 



work is revived in our hearts, in our Churches, and 
in our city." 

To this I signed my name, and Mrs. Fee signed 
hers. I then thought of a very pious and devoted 
lady (Mrs. Sinnard), who had not been in the 
church, though a member, for ten years, in conse- 
quence of affliction. I read the covenant to her, 
and asked her if she would sign it. She imme- 
diately began to praise the Lord that she could yet 
do something to promote his cause, and, with a 
trembling hand, wrote her signature. I then went 
to all the invalids who were unable to attend relig- 
ious services in my church, and they gave me their 
signatures. I called upon others, until, in two 
weeks, I had fifty names attached to this covenant. 

At the close of the covenant were these words : 
" First, this covenant, it will be seen, is not to be 
spoken of publicly, and at this time the names ap- 
pended to it are not to be given. Let it be between 
us and God. Second, have respect unto thy cove- 
nant; do as thou hast said." Somehow I felt that 
I should solicit no other signatures. 

Now I note the result. In my own soul I had 
such a confidence in God that all doubt was re- 
moved as to the answer to our prayers. Just when 
or how this would come, I had no distinct impres- 
sion. I never had such an inspiration before in 
the pulpit as I had then. I was strong in the 
Lord, and in the power of his might. All doubt 
and fear had left. I looked for God to give me in 
some way outward evidence that our prayer was 
heard and answered, for a great revival of religion. 

5 o8 

Bringing the Shkaves. 

As I stood in the pulpit Sabbath morning, I fully 
expected a power to come upon me that I had 
never felt before ; but it did not according to my 
mind or my plans. I returned to my home disap- 

I remember seeing that day a gentleman and 
his wife, who were evidently moved by the Holy 
Spirit. They both sat and wept while I preached. 
After the services I said to my wife, "When I have 
rested a few minutes I will go and see them; and 
possibly, through them, God will commence the 
work which my faith so strongly embraces." I 
lay down ; but had not been reclining five minutes 
until the door-bell rang. I answered it, and met a 
gentleman whom I had not seen before, who in- 
quired if I was the pastor. I replied that I was. 
He said: 

"I am the mail agent on the Cincinnati and 
Chicago route. I can only be at home on Sunday. 
We have an only child that is sick, and it has never 
been baptized. We were brought up in the Lu- 
theran Church ; and we should feel very sad if that 
child should die without being baptized. Neither 
my wife, my mother, nor myself is a communicant 
in any Church. Will you baptize our child?" 

I replied, "I will." 

He lived in a distant part of the city. We 
went at once to his home. After the child had 
been baptized, they all kissed it affectionately, and 
said : 

"How thankful we are! Should it be called 
away, we will feel that we have done our duty." 



I was suddenly impressed at this point to say 
something. I said: 

" My friends, if your child had died before it 
was baptized, I have no doubt that it would have 
been saved. You, I believe, have made no satis- 
factory preparation for death?" 

"No," was the answer. 

"If you were to die, then, as you now are, you 
would be separated from that child forever. O, 
my friends, I beg of you to prepare to meet that 
child in heaven; to meet God before whom we 
must all bow!" 

Just at this moment, a gentleman, to whom I 
had never spoken, and who had been inside of a 
church only once within the fifteen years' previous, 
passed the window. I merely knew him to be an 
infidel in his sentiments. He was one of the best- 
read men in the city, and of unusual intelligence. 
The very moment I saw him, it was strangely im- 
pressed upon my mind that I should hail him, 
and walk down the street with him as far as my 
own residence. Leaving my overcoat and hat in 
the house, I went to the door and called him, 

"Mr. O., if you will wait a moment, I shall be 
pleased to walk with you as far as my house." 

. He assented cheerfully; and I excused myself 
to the family, put on my hat and coat and joined 
him. We walked together in silence to the cor- 
ner of Second Street, when I began to fear that I 
was placed in a very awkward position, to say the 
least of it. It seemed to me that I had ap- 

510 Bringing the Shkavks. 

proached him very rudely. We paused on the 
corner of the street, and I said: 

"Mr. O., my conduct in hailing you as I did 
no doubt seems very strange to you, and needs an 
explanation. I tell you frankly that the impres- 
sion to do this came to my mind like a flash. I 
was engaged at the moment in another matter, 
and I can not account for it. I do not know why 
I did it, the only impression was that I should 
join you and walk with you." 

He became pale; and after a moment, with 
the deepest emotion, he said: 

"I know. God Almighty sent you. I will tell 
you the truth. You may have heard some weeks 
ago that I was assaulted by an enemy and severely 
wounded. On examination the surgeon informed 
me that the wound was mortal, and that my life 
would probably terminate very soon. My infi- 
delity vanished in a moment. The sins of my 
life came up before me in awful array. I felt that 
I was a lost sinner. My soul was drifting toward 
eternity without help or hope. What should I do? 
Another examination succeeded; and, to my de- 
light, the surgeon informed me that he was mis- 
taken in the first examination, and had strong hope 
that I would soon recover. This gave me great 
joy; but the foundation upon which I had been 
building was shattered, and the consciousness that 
I was a great sinner was as vivid as ever. I at 
once thought of you, and determined to visit you 
and ask your counsel as soon as I was able. I 
went to your residence; but had no courage to go 


in. I went again; but my courage failed me until 
I went six times. At last I prayed God that I 
might in some way or other meet you and un- 
burden my soul to you. And now, sir, I can but 
regard our meeting to-day, strange as it may seem 
to you, as the answer of a poor sinner's prayer." 

Perhaps no event of my life, taken all in all, 
impressed me more than this. I was laboring and 
praying for an outpouring of the Spirit upon 
Hamilton, and had faith that God in some way 
would grant this. 

During this time this prominent skeptic was 
the subject of deep awakening, and we knew not 
of it. The signs of it were not apparent. I said 
nothing to any one about it. He promised me 
that he would be at the church at prayer-meeting 
on the next Wednesday evening. I made no al- 
lusion to the prayer covenant publicly ; I was wait- 
ing to see what God would do. 

On Tuesday evening of that week there was a 
teachers' meeting. Almost from the beginning 
every one present, and there was a large attend- 
ance, had his mind turned toward a revival of re- 
ligion. Officers and teachers and scholars, who 
were members of the Church, talked aud wept on 
the subject. After special prayer, we separated to 
meet on Wednesday night at the regular prayer- 
meeting. There was victory in the air. 

Wednesday evening came ; and, to the surprise 
of almost everybody — there must have been two 
hundred present, a large number of whom were 
unconverted persons who had not been seen in the 

512 Bringing the Sheaves. 

prayer-meetings before — Mr. 0. was there. The 
people looked at him in amazement. The gentle- 
man and his wife, who had been so deeply im- 
pressed upon my heart on Sunday, although I had 
not spoken to them, were present. I at once made 
up my mind that I ought to invite seekers to come 
forward and hear the prayers and counsels of the 
Church. I did so, and at once eleven came for- 
ward, to the astonishment of most of those who 
were present. The congregation was bathed in 
tears. The Church was wonderfully stirred. 

Mr. O. and the gentleman and lady referred to 
were soon happily converted. That night the 
most wonderful revival of religion in the history 
of Hamilton, before or since, began. The church 
was soon crowded, public attention was aroused, 
and the faith of the preachers was greatly quick- 
ened. Even visitors to the city who were there 
on business were interested. Theaters, dances, 
and shows were all at a discount. Men of all 
classes attended the services. Many of the most 
prominent and influential young people of the 
town were converted. Traveling men and venders 
of various articles on the streets were brought to 
Christ. An unusual number of strangers found 
the stranger's Friend, and were made happy. 

A venerable gentleman approached me one 
Sunday morning, and said : "I am a Presbyterian 
elder from the Western Reserve. I am engaged 
in selling a patent, together with a machine of 
which I am the patentee. My son is with me. 
He is a young married man, and is the idol of his 



mother and wife ; but, O sir, it does seem that, in 
spite of everything, drink will be his ruin. Will 
you pray for him? He has promised me that he 
will come to your meeting to-night, and I have a 
faith that he will seek Christ. I believe that God 
is in your meetings, and the spirit with which you 
are conducting them, I believe, is of Christ. You 
are rising above all denominational prejudice, and 
looking only to the salvation of the souls of your 
fellow-men ; and I do not wonder that God is bless- 
ing you in this work." 

I had not given any invitation for persons to 
unite with the Methodist Episcopal Church. 
Large numbers from Presbyterian and other fami- 
lies were found at our altar, and found Christ, and, 
to the joy of their family and friends, entered into 
the kingdom of Christ. 

On this Sunday evening the church was 
crowded to its utmost capacity. The Presbyterian 
elder and his wayward son were there. I talked 
of prodigals that night, and this one wept. 
When the invitation was given for penitents, his 
father led him to the altar and kneeled by his side, 
and said to me : 

" O this must be a deep work, or I have no 
hope for my boy." 

I replied: "We will labor to promote God's 
work; and unless God is in it, it will come to 

The young man was most deeply convicted 
of sin ; but his father believed that he was beyond 
the reach of mercy. I presented Christ, who 


514 Bringing the: Sheaves. 

tasted death for every man, and who was willing 
to save him by grace, through faith in his merits, 
" without money and without price." I told him 
that he could make himself no better; that if he 
were a sinner a thousand times greater than he 
was, he was invited to come to Christ, and he 
would save him. He then said to me: 

" I have hope now. I believe that many of 
my sins will be forgiven before I die." 

"God does not do his work in that way," I re- 
plied. " If the wicked man will forsake his ways, 
and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and will 
return unto the Lord, he will have mercy upon 
him. Our God will abundantly pardon all our 
sins ; he will in a moment blot them out of his book 
of remembrance, and bury them in the depths of 
the sea." 

He looked up and, smiling, said: "Isn't that 
splendid ? But it does look as if it was too much 
for so little." 

I repeated : " It is of grace. You wonder now 
at the love of God in pardoning a guilty sinner ; 
but you and I will be more astonished when we 
stand before him, redeemed and saved in heaven." 

the joy of the father and the son as they 
embraced each other iq the bonds of love, which 
can be enjoyed but never described ! Telegrams 
were sent home, and the mother and wife were 
informed that the "dead was alive," and the "lost 
found," and the son and the husband were saved. 

1 heard of him long after he left Hamilton; 
and he was a useful, happy Christian. 



I promptly sent word to the parents and to the 
immediate friends of the children of the Presby- 
terian and other Churches to come and aid us in 
our work, and see that proper care was taken of 
their children. For a while they did not come. 
At last one of the most prominent citizens of Ham- 
ilton — a Christian, a man widely known — came; 
and when he sought the grace of God, he was 
glorified. I had him speak and pray. He began 
his prayer by saying, "Surely God is in this place, 
and we knew it not." The Rev. Dr. Davidson, of 
whom I have spoken, aided me when he could. 
He said to me : 

" Conduct your meetings in your own way. 
You know I sing psalms; but you sing hymns. 
God is blessing you in this work ; and I would 
not have you, for anything, depart from the line 
you are pursuing. God is with you of a truth." 

He preached a sermon for me the same evening, 
which was one of great eloquence and power. 
The church was well filled, and the interest was 
intense up to nine o'clock. By ten o'clock a large 
number had been converted. About that time a 
large crowd of distillers, saloon-keepers, and a 
large number of notoriously wicked men came in, 
evidently out of curiosity. Dr. Davidson gazed 
upon them with deep interest. He said : 

"How sorry I am that I preached! I have a 
message in my soul for these men; but it is now 
ten o'clock." 

I said: " No matter, Doctor; preach again, if 
you are able." 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

He was only too eager to do so; and I at once 
arose and announced that Dr. Davidson would 
now preach to his dying fellow-citizens the gospel 
of the Lord Jesus Christ. He announced as his 
text, " The wicked shall be turned into hell, and 
all the nations that forget God." (Psa. ix, 17.) 

If any man ever preached the terrors of the 
law, Dr. Davidson preached them that night. 
Such awful pictures of sin and its results in this 
world and its fearful punishment in the world to 
come I never heard before or since. The de- 
scriptions of Milton paled before the wondrous 
word-painting of that remarkable man. His 
audience listened as if the judgment-day was be- 
fore them, and the righteous were being saved 
and the wicked being driven away in their wicked- 
ness. He preached an hour, and the meeting 
closed about midnight with great results. A large 
number of the men who listened to him that night 
are now in eternity. If any of them should be 
lost, they dare not say that they had not been 

The Doctor soon had a revival in his own 
Church, and at least one hundred persons professed 
faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. For years he had 
labored among the poorest ; and, like Jesus, had 
sought to save the lost. He was a true evangelist 
in his manner of preaching, and in the spirit with 
which he preached. O that God would multiply 
the number of such preachers ! 

The conversions were of a marked character. 
None were pronounced converted until they had 



given their own experience in the presence of the 
congregation, and had expressed the belief that 
they had passed from death unto life. I have 
never known sounder conversions than I witnessed 
here night after night. 

I had very little outside help ; but members 
who were baptized with the Spirit, and the young 
converts warm in their first love, were most useful 
workers. Among these was Charles Bayliss, a 
lovely young man, bright, beautiful, promising. 
He had an ethereal face and sweet voice. Every 
night he would sit by Mrs. Fee, and sing what was 
a great favorite during the revival, "L,et me go, 't is 
Jesus calls me," which was a part of the chorus, 
until his face shone with a heavenly radiance. 

Six weeks passed away, and he had occasion 
to pass a Sabbath in Cincinnati, and attended 
Mr. Hammond's revival there ; but soon returned 
to join in the battle at home. About twelve days 
after his return, I heard that he was ill and desired 
to see me. I visited him and prayed with him, 
spending an hour in his room. It was thought to 
be an attack of erysipelas ; but he was very happy. 
The next morning I was shocked to learn that it 
was a case of virulent small-pox. There was in- 
tense interest in his case. The young converts 
prayed and wept ; but none of us were allowed to 
approach, and I was liable to an attack of the dis- 
ease; but I was not disturbed. At last the end 
came; and, with his arm around his mother, he 

" Good-bye, mother! I am going home," and at 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

once fell asleep in Jesns. His remains were car- 
ried in loneliness to the cemetery, where he sleeps 
until the resurrection morning shall waken him, 
and his form shall be more beautiful than it 
ever was upon earth. 

The church was draped in mourning for him. 
No scene in Hamilton is to-day more vividly de- 
picted upon my memory than the form and fea- 
tures of Charles Bayliss. 

The time of this revival was an eventful one 
to me. My oldest daughter, my oldest son, and 
my second daughter were converted and united 
with the Church. My son Arthur had a fearful 
struggle and a powerful conversion. When he 
found Jesus, he was in his mother's arms, and 

"O mother, your prayers are answered now!" 

The work went on during the months of De- 
cember, January, and February. The festivities of 
the holidays were swallowed up by the intense in- 
terest of the revival, which now extended to all the 
Churches. A reporter of the Cincinnati Gazette 
came to see me, and published a long and accurate 
account of this wonderful work for Christ. This 
was not only published in the Cincinnati Gazette, 
but in the Western Christian Advocate, and in other 
papers. The notorious wickedness of the town, 
and the glorious victory for the gospel, made the 
account more interesting. 

An interesting young man was accused of mur- 
der. It was claimed and believed that the young 
man killed was the aggressor, and that this young 



man had taken his life in self-defense. He was 
arrested ; but was let out of prison on bail. There 
was much sympathy felt for him. His family was 
respectable, and I know not that he was guilty of 
any of the common vices that prevailed at that 
time. I invited him to come to our meetings. He 
did so, and was soon brought under the deepest 
conviction. I believed him to be a true penitent, 
and that he might be saved. But it was said, as 
the trial was then in progress, that he merely came 
to the church and to the altar in order to excite 
the sympathy of the court and the jury and the 
community in general. He soon found rest in 
Christ, and gave every evidence of conversion. 

He deeply regretted taking the life of a fellow- 
man, and solemnly averred that it was in self- 
defense, and that he was running from the young 
man; and, although there was no malice in his 
heart, when a pistol was drawn on him by his 
pursuer, he must either take the life of his an- 
tagonist or he himself be slain. The trial went 
on for some days. He was at the meeting every 

The case was concluded; the judge gave his 
charge to the jury, and they retired; and he went 
to the house of God. A messenger came for him 
while he was there, and he went out, we knew 
not why ; but in a short time he returned. The 
jury had acquitted him, the court had dismissed 
him, and he was free from the legal charge of 
murder or manslaughter. Having informed the 
congregation of k this, and asked them to join in 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

prayer and thanksgiving to God, he said: "Now I 
must go and tell my parents the blessed news 
that I am not a murderer. " 

Years afterward I met him, and he ran up to 
me, and threw his arms around my neck. He re- 
ferred to his conversion; told me that he was liv- 
ing out in the far West; that he had been enabled 
by the grace of God to establish a Church out 
there, and was an earnest laborer in the vineyard 
of the Lord. 


As I now remember, some seventy-five united 
with the Church one Sabbath-day on probation. 
One hundred persons who had been converted at 
the altar in our revival united with the Presby- 
terian Church. I baptized, one morning at seven 
o'clock, some seventeen persons by immersion, 
and on the same day many others by pouring or 
sprinkling, — more than seventy-five in all. 

My honored father was with me one week. 
He saw the grace of God, and was glad. One 
evening the spirit of conviction was all over the 
congregation. The number at the altar I do not 
know; but at ten o'clock I requested those who 
had found Christ, and were willing to profess him 
then and there, to signify the same by rising and 
saying a few words. Twenty-five arranged them- 
selves together; and, standing facing the congre- 
gation, professed their faith in Jesus. My father 
was overwhelmed, and exclaimed: "Now, L,ord, 



lettest thou thy servant depart in peace according 
to thy word ; for mine eyes have seen thy salva- 

I think during that week at least one hundred 
souls were converted. I was blessed all the while 
with a strong faith, a constant peace, a heart of 
love for saint and sinner, Catholic and Protestant. 
My soul went out in a strong desire for the salva- 
tion of my race. 

Many of the subjects of this revival have died 
in the faith, and are now with the blest. Horace 
Belden, who was converted on the same evening 
with my son Arthur, died in early manhood. His 
brothers — James and Edgar — and his sister imi- 
tated his example; and, like himself, exemplified 
the excellency and the beauty of religion in their 

Rev. George R. Davis, son of Mr. I. K. Davis, a 
prominent and influential member of the Church 
in Hamilton, spent most of his time with me. He 
felt it his duty to become a foreign missionary. 
His heart was drawn toward China. Early in my 
pastorate at Hamilton, Bishop Harris wrote me in 
regard to his health and other qualifications. I 
answered his questions as far as I could. There 
was but one difficulty in the way of his going, and 
that was his health. The Board of Missions was 
fearful, and declined for the time being to appoint 
him. This to him was a terrible trial. His heart 
longed for a foreign field. In the winter, Bishop 

522 Bringing the Sheaves. 

Kingsley, who died suddenly in Beyrout, Syria, 
visited Northern China, and ascertained that the 
climate there was no more dangerous than it was 
in Cincinnati. The difficulty being removed, he 
received information that his appointment had 
been made to Peking, China. 

My youngest brother, Price T. Fee, of Felicity, 
Ohio, married Maggie Davis, the missionary's sis- 
ter. His last ministerial act, before he left for 
China, was to officiate at the marriage of these par- 
ties, at which I assisted. The same evening he 
left his native land, his father, his brothers, his 
sisters, his home, and all worldly prospects, to 
go to that distant land to preach the gospel of the 
Son of God. There he has remained, with only 
short intermissions, from that time until now. He 
has done a grand and glorious work, and eternity 
alone can reveal the result of his labors. 

He is at present a presiding elder of a district 
in China, and has held that position for many 
years. His health has been good all the while, 
which proves that Missionary Boards, with all 
their wisdom, are not infallible. 

During my pastorate here, James F. Chalfant, 
a boyhood acquaintance and friend, was my pre- 
siding elder. He did not have the best religious 
advantages in early life. This was a trial to him ; 
but he labored to make full proof of his ministry, 
and many will rise up and call him blessed. He 
was an able preacher. 

My congregations for two years were nearly 
always large, winter and summer. God gave 



me a constant revival of religion. I felt that I 
could live and die in Hamilton. God blessed me 
with warm friends. Wonld that I could name them 
all! There were Mother Fitton, the mother of 
the noble sons who yet reside in Hamilton, earnest 
workers in the Church, an honor to their mother, 
and a blessing to the community ; Philip Berry 
and his wife ; the Hon. Thomas Milliken and his 
wife (Mrs. Milliken passed away only a few months 
since, and it was my mournful duty to officiate at 
her funeral, and to follow her remains to their last 
resting-place) ; Brother and Sister Morris, Dr. 
Mallory and wife, Dr. Griffis and wife, Mr. and 
Mrs. Flenner, Brother and Sister Millspaugh, 
Jerome Kemble and wife, S. K. Lighter and wife, 
the Elliots, Brother and Sister Sweet, W. A. L,. 
Kirk, the Gilmores, and a host of others. Among 
my special valued friends in Hamilton, I must not 
forget Joseph W. Davis, now residing at Wyoming, 
Ohio. He was a great benediction to me during 
my stay in Hamilton. He, with his excellent wife, 
will live in my memory, and will long be remem- 
bered, not only for their personal kindness, but for 
the work that they did for God and his Church in 
that city. I also wish to mention W. E. Brown, 
Esq., Colonel Thomas Moore, Dr. Falconer, Dr. 
Parks, the Becketts ; and as I close, I must not fail 
to mention that sainted couple, Mr. and Mrs. 
Ivashorn, and their large family connection; Mrs. 
Cooper and family, the Beldens, Mr. and Mrs. 
Joseph Curtis, who were true to me and the cause 
while I was their pastor. 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

Few cities or towns have a warmer place in my 
heart than Hamilton has to-day. Recently a splen- 
did church edifice has been erected on the site of 
the old building, at a cost of about forty thousand 
dollars. It does honor to the liberality, taste, and 
enterprise of the society, and we predict for them 
in the future larger prosperity than they have en- 
joyed in the past. 

I shall always cherish the kindest feeling toward 
the members of other Churches — Baptist, Presby- 
terian, United Presbyterian, and others. 

There should be another charge in Hamilton, 
and we trust there soon will be. 


PIQUA. 1870-1873. 

AT the close of my labors in Hamilton, I re- 
paired to Piqua, Ohio, where the Annual Con- 
ference of 1870 was to be held, Bishop Janes pre- 
siding. On my arrival I was informed that the 
Official Board had requested my appointment to 
Greene Street Church, in which the Conference 
convened, August 24th. 

As I was a stranger in Piqua, and as it was 
understood that I was to be their next pastor, 
many eyes were upon me, and my situation was 
embarrassing. A day or two after this session be- 
gan, I was called away to attend a funeral. On my 
return I learned, to my great surprise, that Will- 
iam X. Ninde, now bishop, had been transferred to 
Detroit, Mich., and that the Official Board of Chris- 
tie Chapel, where he was then stationed, was greatly 
afflicted by his removal. I had served the charge 
in 1860-62, and they unanimously requested my 
appointment to that charge. A large body of 
representatives arrived from Cincinnati, and they 
pressed their claim before the bishop and the 
elders; but the Official Board at Piqua claimed that 
they had first requested my appointment to Greene 
Street Church, and, inasmuch as their Church was 
seriously involved in debt, and they were in a crit- 



Bringing the Siieavks. 

ical condition, and as they had united upon me as 
one who could probably help them in their present 
strait, I should not be sent to Cincinnati. 

The contest grew warm. Bishop Janes and 
the presiding elder, J. F. Chalfant, of Cincinnati, 
sent for me. To Bishop Janes I said: 

"I have never interfered with my appointments 
and can not commence now. I submit the matter 
to you, as the presiding bishop, for decision." 

The bishop and the presiding elder remarked 
that I was a poor man, and that Piqua would be 
able to pay me but twelve hundred dollars ; but 
Christie Chapel would pay me one thousand dollars 
more, making a salary of twenty-two hundred dol- 
lars. I told the bishop that it was a matter of 
principle with me, and not a matter of money, poor 
as I was. The presiding elder remarked that my 
wife was concerned in the matter, and wished to 
know if I had consulted her. I said I had not. 
He replied: "Will you consult her, and report to 

In an hour I did so. Mrs. Fee and I walked a 
few paces from the church, when she said: "We 
have never interfered with your appointments for 
any reason, and let us not begin now." In five 
minutes I reported her decision and mine to Dr. 
Chalfant. He said : 

" I predict that you will regret this. It is very 
doubtful whether the debt of eleven thousand dol- 
lars on the church will be lifted; then there are 
serious difficulties which will confront you. I be- 
lieve you have made the mistake of your life." 



I simply replied: " God must decide the matter. 
I leave all to him." 

I deeply sympathized with that noble Official 
Board at Christie Chapel, and would gladly have 
returned to them, as far as my feelings were con- 
cerned ; but duty and the cross lay in the other 
direction, and I cheerfully took it up, while the 
promise, "Lo, I am with you alway," was ringing 
in my ears and comforting my heart. 

In due time the appointment was officially made, 
and I removed to the beautiful town of Piqua. I 
met with the warmest reception from the be- 

An unusual number of prominent and substan- 
tial men and women were connected with Greene 
Street Church. Here were Henry Kitchen and his 
devoted wife, Rev. Samuel Pettit and wife, R. W. 
Shipley and wife ; Mrs. Dills, one of the most lov- 
able Christians whom I ever knew; Wm. Wood 
and wife, Dr. W. P. Hall and wife, Dr. Parker and 
wife, Dr. Asa Ash ton and family; Amos Sawyer, 
his wife, and mother ; Rev. John Raynor ; John 
Compton, wife, and family; Mr. and Mrs. Geyer, 
William R. Crozier and wife, Brother and Sister 
Anderson, J. W. Widney and family, John Hol- 
comb and family, Mr. and Mrs. L,ooney, Mr. Sam- 
uel Pee and wife, the Rhodehamel family, Rev. 
Richard Brandriff and family, the Keyt families, 
Father Whitehead, Rev. William Raynor, John 
Zollinger and wife, Mrs. Mendenhall, Harvey Clark 
and wife, William Legg and wife, Jonathan I^egg 
and wife, Mrs. Love, Mrs. Kirk; Father and Mother 

528 Bringing the Sheaves. 

Gray, the parents of Rev. George W. Gray, of the 
Central Illinois Conference; Dr. S. S. Gray and 
wife, Thomas Gray and wife, Enoch Bennett and 
family, Mr. and Mrs. McClay, Mrs. Deweese, 
Brother and sister Harbaugh, Mrs. Yager, Mr. and 
Mrs. Rice, Jesse Prngh and family, George W. 
Prugh and George E. Lee, then young men; Pearl 
I. Hedges, Mrs. Worley, Miss Belle Worley, Miss 
Rebecca Wiley; the Statlers, a prominent Meth- 
odist family in this region ; Rev. Mr. Chappel and 
wife, Mr. and Mrs. Myers, Joseph Raynor, James 
Horton, J. M. Cheever, and many others. 

I never had a charge where there were so 
many aged and middle-aged people who were de- 
voted to the Church. But they were discouraged. 
It was noised abroad that the church was in 
danger of being sold, as there was little prospect of 
lifting the debt. The church furniture, it was 
thought, would need to be sold to meet a claim. 
This gloomy state of things was more the mis- 
fortune than the fault of this historic church. 
She had done a noble work for years. Even 
to think of the sale of this time-honored church 
was painful in the extreme to those who loved 
Zion. I knew well that this debt must be pro- 
vided for, or all hope of permanent prosperity would 
be vain. The members were not only discouraged, 
but some of them were embittered. They be- 
lieved that they had done all that they ought to 
do. Others had failed to come to the rescue. 

The trustees were called together and freely 
consulted. An effort to provide for the debt in 



some way or other became imperatively neces- 
sary. After a long session, a plan was adopted to 
provide for the accrued interest, and to sink the 
debt as soon as possible. William R. Crozier and 
the pastor were appointed to consider the matter, 
and, in some way or other, to present the case to 
the different members of the Church and its 
friends. The trustees believed that they had done 
their duty, and were unwilling to do anything 
more. Mr. Crozier very positively refused to 
serve. The effort seemed about to fail. I could 
only go to God and pray for Divine direction, 
help, and sympathy. Said I: "Brother Crozier, 
there may be something a great deal worse in store 
for you than to go with me on this thankless 

We adjourned. The next morning at seven 
o'clock, Mr. Crozier called at the parsonage. His 
eyes were red with weeping. He said : 

" I have slept none all night. Those words of 
yours have been ringing in my ears ever since 
last evening. Here I am, ready to do anything 
in my power to aid you." 

I replied: "Brother Crozier, we ought not to 
commence this important work, in which so much 
is involved, without prayer to God for Divine di- 
rection and help." 

We prayed together. I then remarked: "My 
proposition is to raise this money on Scriptural 
principles. If men are not willing to give cheer- 
fully, as unto the L,ord and not unto men, I am 
not willing to undertake it. I want it to be a free- 



Bringing the Sheaves. 

will offering, and each one to give in view of his 
obligations to God, without regard to what others 
may say or do." 

"I feel," said he, " that we ought to go to 
Sister Dills. She loves the Church as perhaps 
none of us do; and if she had the money, she 
would pay the whole debt. This plan just ac- 
curred to me: If she were willing to give her 
note, bearing interest from date, for fifty dollars, do 
you believe that it would be an inspiration to 
others ? If the plan be carried out on that princi- 
ple, we might be able to raise the debt." We 
started at once to see her. She met us, smiling, 
and said: " I am willing to do my part, and I will 
give you my note for fifty dollars." This was the 
very amount upon which we had fixed. 

We then felt impressed that if Mrs. L,eavell 
would give twenty-five dollars, that would be suf- 
ficient; but for some reason she declined. I said: 

"God bless you! If it is not a cheerful offer- 
ing, we do n't want it." 

She called after us as we were leaving, and 
said: "I don't feel right about this. I ought to 
give you twenty-five dollars, and I will." 

We received it joyfully. We then approached 
her brother-in-law, who had hitherto given liberally. 
He at once said that he could do nothing. He 
was sick and tired of such applications. I at once 
said : " I hope the Lord will bless you greatly. If 
you can not give cheerfully and freely, I do n't 
want one cent; and I shall wish you good, in any 
event. Good-bye." 



"Why," said he, as we left, "you are not 

"Yes," I replied. 

"Come back," he exclaimed. "If that is the 
way you are going to raise money for the Church, 
I am going to help you. If my note for two 
hundred dollars will do you any good, you are 
welcome to it. It is a pleasure and a blessing to 
me to give money that way." 

No one was more heartily in accord with us 
than this brother. We merely give these cases as 
specimens of the manner of conducting the work. 
From this method we never departed. 

We soon raised money enough to avert the 
danger of the sale of the church, and relieve our 
serious embarrassment. A better state of feeling 
prevailed in the Church, and all were looking 
with hope to the ultimate removal of the debt 
within a few years. 

I began my pastoral labors by preaching from 
the words : "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and 
to-day, and forever." (Heb. xiii, 8.) The sermon 
proved a blessing to a number of persons. I had 
a great work before me to restore the confidence 
and the unanimity to that divided Church. I 
visited from house to house, and prayed with the 
people as best I could, and my congregation in- 

I appointed a prayer-meeting for young men, 
and some three or four boys attended it ; but these 
were faithful. Among them were Dr. George W. 
Prugh, now of Cincinnati; Rev. James S. Bitler, 

532 Bringing the; Sheaves. 

the evangelist; my son, Joseph A. Fee; Jerome 
Weeks, and a boy by the name of Ross, who soon 
professed religion. In process of time this meet- 
ing, so small in its beginning, proved a factor of 
wonderful power in that Church. 

On the first Sunday evening of my pastorate, I 
prayed at the conclusion of my sermon, and was 
strangely impressed to pray for a young man who 
was in great danger. He was the son of a pious 
father and a godly mother, but was out of Christ. 
I was mortified to think that I had yielded to such 
an impression at such a time. The next morning 
the people were shocked to learn that a young man 
had met with a serious accident. He had lodged 
with a relative that night, and had occupied the 
room of a cousin. The cousin coming into the 
room after the young man had retired, not knowing 
it to be occupied, and seeing a man rise up in the 
bed, fired his pistol at him, supposing him to be a 
robber. The ball pierced the brain, and it was 
feared the accident would prove fatal. 

The young man, though not a member of the 
Church, was a regular attendant at the services. 
On examination the wound was pronounced mortal. 
His friends rushed to his bedside. Prayer was 
offered for him, as prayer had seldom been offered. 
He was attended by several of the most skillful 
physicians in this section of Ohio. One of them 
said to me : "If the age of miracles should return, 
he may recover; not otherwise." 

On the next Wednesday evening prayer-meet- 
ing, such prayers as were offered for the life of 



that young man beggar description. And in spite 
of the decision of the physicians, those who were 
drawn out in prayer believed that he would re- 
cover. He was baptized, and received into the 
Methodist Episcopal Church on probation. 

I visited, prayed, and talked with him, and 
found him, I believe, a humble penitent at the feet 
of Jesus. The people who had heard my prayer 
on the preceding Sabbath evening were deeply 
impressed by the incident. Remarkable as it may 
seem, this young man recovered, and lives to-day, 
one of the most prominent Church workers of the 
city of Piqua, loved and honored by all who know 
him. As soon as he was able, he joined the little 
band of boys and young men in their meetings. 
This event was overruled to the interest of the 
cause of religion in Greene Street Church. 


Soon after my arrival in Piqua, it was said to 
me by one or two ministers, that no man dared to 
lift his voice against the liquor-traffic in the pulpits 
of this city, without provoking the opposition of 
the members of his Church, and without losing his 
pastoral position. 

I replied: " I can not believe this is true of my 
own congregation. If I believed it to be so, I would 
not remain in the charge one week, at the expense 
of my conscience and my ministerial obligations. 
I hold that it is my ministerial duty, wherever I 
am, publicly and privately to denounce that ac- 
cursed traffic." 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

I presented the matter to my Official Board. 
They assured me that it could not be true of the 
members of Greene Street Church. So I preached 
on the subject as I had done elsewhere. 

A Quaker lecturer was addressing the people 
on the subject of temperance one night in the 
market-house. He was mobbed and shamefully 
treated. Two or three of us ministers happened 
there just in time to save him from greater vio- 
lence. The Rev. Dr. Hopkins, of the Presbyterian 
Church, and myself resolved that this outrage 
should be rebuked. We had hand-bills struck off 
and circulated all over the town, in the interest of 
liberty of speech, and of law and order, stating the 
outrage committed upon the Quaker. All were 
invited to assemble together and take action, or 
protest against it. 

We had a large audience. I was appointed 
president of the meeting. Elder Sherman, of the 
First Baptist Church, delivered an address, and was 
followed by Dr. Hopkins. Soon after he began, 
eggs were thrown at him from outside the audi- 
ence. I begged him to go on and pay no atten- 
tion to the eggs as he had not been struck, and if 
they had no better argument than eggs, we could 
wait for redress until next morning. 

We had hand-bills printed the next morning, 
announcing the fact that a minister of the gospel 
had been assaulted with eggs, for no other reason 
than protesting against the liquor-traffic, and ask- 
ing all good citizens who were in favor of law and 
order to assemble that night at the market-house. 



A vast crowd was present. Returned soldiers from 
trie army were there, and they at once determined 
that there should be order, and it was as quiet as 
if we had been at church. We found the young 
man who threw the eggs, and he was convicted 
and sent to the county jail, and would have re- 
mained there for months; but we begged his re- 
lease and obtained it, and we suppose he never 
interfered with such a meeting afterwards. 

Just after this, A. M. Collins, a temperance 
lecturer and organizer of the Sons of Temperance, 
came to Piqua and organized a division of that 
order in the city. It grew rapidly, and many of 
our young men were saved from habits of intem- 
perance by its influence. This opened a new 
field for religious work among our young men, 
among whom might be named William Nast Brod- 
beck, who was elected to the highest office in the 
order, and became a great power in the community 
on the subject of temperance. At the time he 
was a nominal member of the Church, though not 
a professor of religion. He soon united with the 
young men who were holding weekly meetings. 
It proved a great blessing to him, and he proved a 
great blessing to them. 

A number of persons during the year were con- 
verted, and the spiritual condition of the Church 
was greatly improved, although we had no exten- 
sive revival of religion. 

The next summer will long be remembered for 
the inauguration of a holiness camp-meeting at 
Urbana, Ohio, under the leadership of J. S. Inskip, 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

William McDonald, Alfred Cookman, and others. 
This meeting promised to be one of immense pro- 
portions. The members of onr Church came to the 
conclusion to have a boarding- tent, the profits of 
which were to go toward the payment of our 
Church debt. With the greatest unanimity the 
men and women gave themselves to the work of 
preparing for it. They attended in large numbers, 
and realized a handsome sum. 

This meeting had a marked influence upon the 
young people and the members of our Church who 
were present, and it will never be forgotten by 
the throngs who came from all parts of the United 
States. There that sainted man, Alfred Cookman, 
almost without an equal, in the estimation of those 
who knew him, appeared for the last time, and in 
a few weeks afterward went "sweeping through 
the gates " of the heavenly city. 

Asbury Lowrey was my presiding elder, and 
did all he could to sustain me. At the close of the 
year, at our last quarterly-meeting love-feast, I 
stated very quietly what I believed to be the truth, 
that I had not been a great success in my pas- 
torate, and expressed my willingness to go to an- 
other field of labor if the Church thought best. 
Our older members were startled at this, and began 
to give me some evidence of appreciation that I 
did not expect, and sought to assure me that, under 
the circumstances, they regarded my pastorate as a 
great success. I could not see it in this light ; but 
as they were so unanimous and hearty in their de- 
sire for my return another year, I said no more. 



At the close of the love-feast, Dr. L,owrey re- 
marked that he was asked by Bishop Morris, a few 
days before, how I was succeeding in Piqua, and 
he replied that he thought I was not having my 
usual success. The bishop quaintly remarked: 
" Brother Fee is always good on the 'home-stretch.' " 
This greatly pleased the people, as they had some 
hope now of better results than before. My salary 
was promptly paid long before the year closed. 
This was a matter grateful to me as it was to the 
Church, for they had been greatly embarrassed in 
their finances. 

In 187 1 I was reappointed to the charge by 
Bishop Scott, and began my labors with renewed 
interest, and full of hope that they would not be in 
vain in the Lord. 

The camp-meeting had been a great blessing to 
me, and I think to my family, as well as to the 
Church. I endeavored to walk blameless before 
the L,ord. I was careful about my temper, my 
words, and my actions in all interviews with 
people, and determined to be a better Christian 
than I had ever been before. In my disposition I 
tried to be very cheerful, both in my family and 
with my friends. Some persons could not under- 
stand this, and supposed it resulted from a want of a 
higher standard of piety than I possessed. I heard 
this, and it drew me closer to Christ. I did not 
remember any period of my life which had been so 
well spent. I thought I had been living up to the 
high standard to which I aspired, and was thank- 
ful that I had reached this point. 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

One day, my wife, looking steadfastly in my 
face, said, "What is the matter with you?" With 
surprise I asked, 

"What do you mean?" 

"You look so sad and unhappy," she replied. 

I said, "Why I never spent so happy a week in 
all my life." 

Said she: "You appear to me and to all our 
children as though you had lost all the friends you 
had in the world, and the children say a gloom has 
come over our home ; that you have always been 
so cheerful and happy at home, but now that 
cheerfulness is all gone; and if that is religion, we 
do n't want it." 

It flashed on my mind in one moment that I 
was trying to be somebody else than William I. 
Fee ; that I had made a mistake, and that in the 
future I would be myself, by the grace of God, and 
do the best I could in a cheerful manner for God 
and humanity. This experience proved a great 
blessing to me. I should have been more careful 
to follow Christ rather than anybody else. 

This year all my work, my prayers, and my 
faith looked to a great outpouring of the Holy 
Spirit. My faith was strong that the Church debt 
would be removed, and that God had a great bless- 
ing in reserve for Greene Street Church. I began 
a series ot revival-meetings some time before the 
holidays. I labored and prayed for a deep, genu- 
ine, Scriptural revival of religion, something that 
would last and be permanent in its results. I real- 
ized that the great want of that Church was spirit- 



uality. The members had a respectable social 
position, money, and other qualities; but they 
needed a baptism of the Spirit which would bring 
them into closer harmony with Christ, and would 
create a deeper interest in those who were out of 

I took no pains to advertise my meetings. My 
idea was that they would in due time advertise 
themselves. The great body of the Church was 
but little interested in the success of my meetings. 
They would be present at the morning and evening 
services and in the Sunday-school ; but they were 
not aggressive. 

At the close of three weeks, two or three were 
powerfully converted; but I could hear that re- 
marks were being made that I was wearing myself 
out, and wearing out the faithful members who 
were always on hand, and that no good results 
had been secured. They said they had seen no 
signs of a revival of religion. I told them I could be- 
lieve the L<ord without signs, and I was full of hope. 

* The fourth Sabbath came, and the word went 
abroad — to use a common phrase — that there 
would be a "sheep-shearing" at Greene Street 
Church that morning, and the delinquents ought 
to be present to receive their share of the rubbing 
that they would get. I had a very large congre- 
gation; and they were listening with great inter- 
est to hear some severe remarks, but I made none. 
I think I never preached a sermon in a sweeter 
spirit, than I did that morning in Greene Street 
Church. At the close of the service, I announced 

540 Bringing the Sheaves. 

that there would be meeting every night during 
the week; and then alluded to what I had heard, 
that I would break down and destroy my health. 
But I assured them that I was in much better 
health than I was when the meeting began. It 
was said that I was breaking down the health of 
the faithful members who were on hand every 
night. I said: 

"I have heard no complaints; but if I should 
break down, and the members who are faithful 
should break down also, it affords me great pleas- 
ure to inform you that I have examined the 
Church records, and I find that during the last 
four weeks there are two hundred and sixty-nine 
who have never been at any of the services during 
the week nights. So you see we have a reserve 
corps of two hundred and sixty-nine, who will 
rush into the battle after the rest of us have fallen 
on the field, and will do valiant service for the 
cause. We will be dismissed." 

This had a marked effect on the audience. 
That very day, after Sunday-school, there was a 
wonderful meeting. At least forty came forward 
to be prayed for, and a number were converted. 
We could not close the meeting until the evening 
service began. During the evening, the altar was 
crowded, and a wonderful interest pervaded the 
assembly. A large number of those who were at 
the altar in the afternoon and evening were mem- 
bers who had been admitted to the Church with- 
out any well-grounded assurance that they were 



During that meeting, and the meeting follow- 
ing, such was the religious interest in the Church 
and in the community that Mrs. Fee and I were 
busy in the parsonage in leading stricken souls to 
Christ. Our congregations were crowded, and the 
interest pervaded all classes. 

After a long and agonizing struggle, William 
Nast Brodbeck was powerfully converted, while a 
number of us were kneeling around him and 
weeping. How we rejoiced at this glowing vic- 
tory ! He entered the ministry, in which he has 
been successful from then until now. 

Frank Cozier was also converted. He secured 
an education at the university in Delaware, Ohio. 
He became a devoted and useful minister in Min- 
nesota, and died in his early manhood in the faith 
he preached to others. 

A number, who are now pillars in Greene 
Street Church, were converted at that meeting 
and about that time, among whom is William 
Jones, now eighty-seven years of age, an English- 
man by birth. Although not able to read or 
write, he was a man of strong mental power, of 
great firmness, conscientious and true. When I 
first met him, he gave but little hope of being 
the pious and useful man he now is. But he has 
been as true to God as "the needle to the pole" 
during the last twenty-three years. 

This revival exerted a blessed influence upon 
other Churches,' and many persons were converted 
and added to them. Many of the subjects of this 
revival vet remain members of Greene Street 

542 Bringing the Sheaves. 

Church, while others have removed to other places, 
and occupy prominent positions in the Churches to 
which they are attached. Some have died in the 
triumphs of that faith which they professed. 

During this year a second camp-meeting was 
held at Urbana for the promotion of holiness. It 
proved a great success, and its fruits will be seen 
in eternity. Greene Street Church had a large 
boarding-tent on the ground, and there was an ear- 
nest effort to make it a success in every respect. The 
members took a deep interest in the meeting, and 
it proved a great blessing to them. It was a great 
financial success, which resulted in a short time 
afterwards in the entire removal of the crushing 
debt which rested upon the Church. 


When it was finally announced that the Church 
was practically free from debt, the large congrega- 
tion present arose to their feet and sang, "Praise 
God, from whom all blessings flow." 

My salary was increased one hundred dollars, 
and it was all paid long before Conference came. 
I never saw a Church more united and prosperous 
than this at the close of the second year. 

At the unanimous request of the Official Board 
and the members, I was returned for the third year 
to the charge, to enjoy the confidence and love of 
this dear people who had given me the richest do- 
nation I had ever received from any congregation, 
my silver wedding having been celebrated during 
the year. 



I endeavored to take all possible pains to pre- 
serve the fruits of my revival. Our Sunday-school 
was a great power, under the superintendency of 
William Richardson, the superintendent of the 
public schools of Piqua. Joshua W. Shipley had 
charge of the singing. In this he was almost 
unequaled; and his labors in the department of 
music in Greene Street Church for more than thirty 
years entitle him to the gratitude and appreciation 
of that Church. John C. McClure was true to the 
school, and labored to promote its interests, and 
has been a constant friend. Samuel Zollinger was 
treasurer. The money was always safe in his 
hands, without any danger of financial embarrass- 
ment. George B. L^ee was always in his place and 
ready for his work. These, with many others, 
made the school a wonderful power in Piqua. It 
attracted all classes of persons ; and, in many re- 
spects, was a model Sunday-school. 

The young people's meeting during this year 
still kept up its interest. It was like a Church 
within itself. It did grand work. Here the rich 
and poor met together in harmony, and in the 
spirit of Christ worked for his cause. This year 
was one of almost unalloyed happiness. The 
financial, spiritual, and denominational prosperity 
was such as to excite the admiration of those who 
were acquainted with it. Unity and love were 

A constant revival interest continued during 
the year. Such was the success which had marked 
my pastorate during these three years in several 

544 Bringing the Sheaves. 

respects, and especially in its spiritual results, as to 
satisfy me, as it did others, that it was of God, and 
to him belonged the glory. 

I licensed during my pastorate W. N. Brodbeck 
as an exhorter. He was soon afterward licensed 
as a local preacher, and was recommended as a 
suitable person to be received on trial into the Cin- 
cinnati Conference. He was appointed to Tippe- 
canoe charge, where at least one hundred souls 
were converted through his instrumentality, and 
added to the Church. I also licensed James S. 
Bitler to exhort. He, with his devoted mother, 
went to Delaware, Ohio, where he attended the 
university. The mother labored, as mothers some- 
times do, to complete the education of her son 
and fit him for the gospel ministry. He, too, was 
licensed as a local' preacher, united with the Cin- 
cinnati Conference, and has been for years engaged 
in evangelistic work in most of the Northern and 
Western States of the Union. 

When I left this charge, Professor Richardson 
and R. S. Rhodehamel called to see me, and, to 
my great surprise, presented me with a beautiful 
gold watch, which I carry to-day, as a tribute of 
their appreciation of my humble services, and 
especially my opposition to the liquor-traffic and 
my devotion to the interests of morality and re- 
ligion in Piqua. 



WESLEY CHAPEE is the oldest Methodist 
Episcopal Church in Cincinnati. Just be- 
fore the Annual Conference of 1873 orL the Urbana 
Camp-ground, Charles W. Rowland, of Wesley 
Chapel, met me one day, and said very solemnly 
and impressively : 

"I believe it is God's will that you should 
come to Cincinnati, and take charge of Wesley 
Chapel as its pastor; and unless you oppose it, I 
shall feel it my duty to labor for that result." 

I replied : "I am in God's hands, and the hands 
of the bishop and my Conference ; and whatever 
may be my appointment the ensuing year, it will 
be regarded by me as in the order of God's provi- 

"That," said he, "is enough." 

That was all I ever heard on the subject. 
Conference came, and Bishop E. R. Ames ap- 
pointed me to this historic mother Church of 
Methodism in Cincinnati. I removed to the city 
in September, 1873. I found a large and commo- 
dious parsonage adjoining the church on Fifth 
Street, well furnished, and as pleasant as I could 

I became the guest of Charles W. Rowland. I 

35 545 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

never met with a more cordial welcome than from 
him and his excellent wife. From then until 
now I have had no truer friends than this noble 
couple. They stood by me in every emergency, 
and co-operated with me in every good work I 
was laboring to perforin. 

Here I found Joseph F. Larkin, a native of 
Felicity, lOhio — my native place — a prominent 
banker, consecrated to Christ, and liberal with 
his money. Here was also Ex-Mayor Henry B. 
Spencer, a son of that distinguished pioneer, 
Oliver M. Spencer, one of the first citizens of 
Cincinnati. In his boyhood, O. M. Spencer was 
captured by the Indians in the wilderness just on 
the outskirts of Cincinnati. He remained in cap- 
tivity for some time ; but was finally released and 
restored in safety to his parents. An account of 
his capture, written by himself, was published in 
the ''Youth's Library" by the Methodist Book 
Concern. The Spencers were devoted Methodists, 
and none more so than Ex-Mayor Spencer and 
his wife. 

Here, too, were Richard Miller, a saintly man ; 
Thomas McClain, an earnest and zealous class- 
leader ; Captain Jones and his daughter, Mrs. 
Sanders, whose praise was in all the Churches; 
Mr. William G. Doering, son of Rev. Dr. Doering ; 
Mrs. John Elstner, who, with her husband, had 
been pillars in the Church almost from its founda- 
tion ; Joseph Elstner and his wife, formerly Miss 
Sarah Steritt, a lady of rare excellence, now re- 
siding in San Diego, California ; Rev. W. H. S. 

Wesley Chapel, Cincinnati. 547 

Ewell and his wife, both devoted Methodists ; and 
many others equally active in Church work. 

A. N. Spahr was my immediate predecessor. 
He was a man of fine preaching ability, of deep, 
fervent piety, conscientious and devoted to his 
work. It affords me great pleasure to say that he 
did more to prepare the way for my coming and to 
make the success which attended my humble 
labors there far greater than it could have been 

Notwithstanding the wonderful advantages en- 
joyed by this Church in her past history, the build- 
ing of other churches and the formation of other 
charges in different parts of the city constantly 
drew upon her resources, paralyzed her energies, 
and discouraged her in her work. 

I found the members scattered over a territory 
of fifteen or twenty square miles. Many of them 
were devoted to missionary enterprise in various 
parts of the city. 

The Roman Catholics had a number of 
churches in the vicinity. The great St. Xavier 
College was scarcely a stone's-throw ^from the 
church. There were more than ten thousand 
Protestant people within six squares who attended 
no place of worship, and it embraced probably 
some of the very worst class in the city. The 
church at once became the center of missionary 
labor in that part of the city. 

I found, when I began my labors, that the 
average congregation at the best was about one 
hundred and twenty-five in the morning and about 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

one hundred in the evening. The Sunday-school 
was in good condition. Prayer-meeting and class- 
meeting were spiritual, but not very largely at- 
tended. There seemed to be a conviction in the 
minds of a majority of the Church members that 
it was a down-town Church, and that the question 
of its longer existence as an active organization 
would be settled in a very few years. They were 
anxious to work, but they did not recognize the 
fact that there was work all around them, and 
there was no necessity to leave their own field and 
go to other points. 

We had a large number of consecrated mem- 
bers, men and women of intelligence and of social 
position, who had consecrated themselves, their 
time, and their money to God and his work; but 
they were at a loss, as I was myself at the time, 
to know just what to do and how to do it. The 
municipal government was at its worst. Every- 
thing was run in the interest of the lowest grade 
of local politics. Saloons had the largest liberty 
in the city. Houses of shame abounded, and were 
scarcely even restrained by the police department. 

The number of members at Wesley Chapel 
amounted to about two hundred and fifty. Many 
of these were only nominally so, and seldom, if 
ever, attended the services of the Church. I had 
come from a Church all aglow with revival influ- 
ence and in the full tide of prosperity ; and now I 
was in danger, I feared, of losing the revival 
spirit with which I came. 

This was repulsive to my spiritual nature and 

Wkslky Chapel, Cincinnati. 549 

intuition. My religion was aggressive. I must 
lift up the Church, as far as possible, to a higher 
standard of activity, or I must come down myself 
to the plane in which I found them. It did not 
take me long to see the situation in its most dis- 
couraging aspect. 

Dr. R. M. Hatfield was then stationed at St. 
Paul Church. He was a broad, outspoken man, 
who quailed before no danger. I was ready with 
him to attack the fort of sin, no matter how strong 
that might be ; and the same might be said of 
other ministers. My work was in the center of 
the city. Adam Bowers was at Pearl Street, and, 
in his peculiar sphere, was doing better than any 
man had done before to stem this tide of evil. 

Randolph S. Foster was then resident bishop 
in the city. We were boyhood friends, were con- 
verted and united with the Church about the same 
time. About three weeks after my own conver- 
sion, I had kneeled at his side at the mourners' 
bench, where he was seeking Christ, a heart-broken 
penitent. I saw him happily, powerfully con- 
verted. Our warm personal friendship justified 
me in consulting him with regard to the situation 
just as I saw it, and telling him just what I thought 
and how I felt. He had once been a pastor of 
the Church, and he sympathized with me and 
counseled me freely. He proposed, as a partial 
remedy in this existing state of things, that the 
church-edifice should be remodeled, and that an 
audience-room be constructed which would accom- 
modate a congregation of three hundred persons. 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

I might then, he thought, hope to have the inspi- 
ration of a full house. 

This proposition impressed me strangely and 
increased my discouragement. To me it looked 
very much like a surrender, rather than a basis for 
victory. He said that, if he had twenty thousand 
dollars, he believed that he could revolutionize Cin- 
cinnati. I told him I could not see the remedy in 
that amount of money. The trouble was too deep 
for money to reach it. I then spoke of the thou- 
sands of non-churchgoers in that part of the city. 
A number of these at one time had been Method- 
ists or members of other Churches, until Cincin- 
nati had become the graveyard of ex-Church 
members. Every form of evil was met with ; and 
it did seem to me that no human power or agency 
would be sufficient to reach the masses. Bishop 
Foster said : 

" What are you going to do about it? How are 
you going to reach them?" 

I simply replied : 

" Bishop, the way to reach the masses is by 
such agency as God, in the arrangement of his 
providence and the provision of his grace, shall 
direct. Mass-meetings and existing Church agen- 
cies, in their general work, have done about all 
that can be done. The people do not come to us ; 
they will not come to us until we go to them. 
There must be personal work, personal contact, 
personal love and sympathy displayed for these 
multitudes of human beings who are driven away 
from God, in order to save them." 

Wksi^ky Chapel, Cincinnati. 551 

" What is your plan?" he asked. 

I replied: U I have none now; but I believe 
that, inasmuch as the necessity exists, God will 
give trie wisdom necessary to discover one, and 
make it effective for the accomplishment of the 
object in view." 

He said, "I pray that God may bless you, and 
help and direct you in your work." 

I believed that, in the absence of all mere 
human power, the Holy Ghost would turn back 
this tide of evil, and move upon and melt these 
thousands of souls. If I could not do much, I 
could do a little, and I intended to labor for imme- 
diate results in the salvation of souls. I trembled 
at the thought of the danger of one soul out of 
Christ, and could scarcely dare look upon the conr 
dition of a soul wrecked on the sea of God's wrath. 

Having laid this down as one of the things to 
be done, I was very much encouraged by the 
thought that in two months the evangelists, J. S. 
Inskip and William McDonald, would hold a ten 
days' meeting in Wesley Chapel for the promotion 
of Christian holiness. All the Churches were to 
unite in it. While ordinary prudence would have 
said, "Wait until the meeting of the evangelists," 
a voice within me said : " Go forward. Do what 
you have proposed. Now is the accepted time ; 
now is the day of salvation." 

I well knew that so long as the evangelists 
were in the city, the very best people of the Meth- 
odist and of many other Churches would fill the 
house, and for the time being it would attract the 


Bringing the Shkavks. 

attention of the community to an unusual ex- 
tent. But I feared that, when the evangelistic 
meetings closed, my congregation would scarcely 
be able to endure the contrast in the meetings 
which would follow. In those we would have a 
crowded house, and in these only the few who as- 
semble at our regular services. I resolved to make 
all I could out of the present circumstances, and 
hope for better times. 

I visited from house to house, entering every 
open door, and was always ready to welcome the 
poorest man or woman into the kingdom of Christ. 
Signs of good appeared. Sabbath mornings and 
evenings, persons were uniting with the Church. 
Some were seeking Christ, and were happily con- 
verted, and a revival spirit pervaded all our meet- 
ings. Our congregations were increased. The 
spirit of our membership was much better than it 
had been, and we looked for better days. 

Brothers Inskip and McDonald heard of the 
revival which was going on under the ordinary 
means of grace, and about two weeks before the 
commencement of their ten days' meeting they 
wrote to the effect that their meeting ought 
to be withdrawn, as we were doing well. I re- 
plied that their meeting had been arranged for be- 
fore my appointment to the charge ; that it was a 
general meeting in Cincinnati, and not a congre- 
gational one ; and that I would not, on any account, 
consent to the withdrawal of their engagement. 

With great reluctance, and in doubt as to the 
propriety of their coming, at the time appointed 

Wesley Chapee, Cincinnati. 553 

they were on hand, and began their meeting nnder 
the most favorable auspices. Large numbers at- 
tended, and for ten days and nights the meetings 
were full of interest. Many entered into the ex- 
perience of pardon and of perfect love; and the 
influence of' the meetings diffused itself over many 
of the Churches of Cincinnati. Some of my own 
members were wonderfully baptized by the Spirit. 

A work broke out in the Pearl Street congre- 
gation, under the labors of Adam Bowers, and a 
large number were brought into the Church and 
made the subjects of converting grace. 

I resolved to commence a series of meetings at 
once. But, as I had feared, the contrast between 
the general and our special meeting was so great 
that it had a chilling effect. Our people were 
weary, and not very well prepared to engage in a 
revival. Three services had been held by the 
evangelists every day. I protested against this, as 
far as I dared, to Brothers Inskip and McDonald. 
I told them that it would be followed by a reac- 
tion on my congregation, and I could expect no 
help. Brother McDonald remarked that holiness 
had no reaction, and knew no fear. I said I hoped 
he was right; but I was . very positive that he 
would find himself mistaken. 

The very first night of my meeting a number 
were found at the altar for prayers ; fully as many 
as were found there before the evangelists came. 
So I congratulated myself that my fears were 

One morning I found myself so hoarse I was 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

not able to speak above a whisper, and knew not 
what to do for my night meeting. I hoped, until 
about four o'clock, that some one would come in 
and supply my pulpit ; but no one came. I made 
it a matter of special prayer, that God would send 
me some one, and send the right man for the oc- 
casion. I believed that he answered my prayer, 
and I rested satisfied. The evening came, and 
Dr. Thomas H. Pearne came to the parsonage. I 
approached him, and said, " Doctor, God sent you 
here to preach for me." 

"How do you know?" asked he. 

I replied: "I believe in answers to prayer. I 
was undone, helpless. I can only speak, as you 
see, in a whisper, and I knew not what to do for 
my night meeting, so I called upon the Lord in 
the hour of my emergency to send me some one 
to supply my pulpit, and my prayer was answered." 

"What time was it that you felt your prayer 
was answered?" he inquired. 

"About four o'clock," was my reply. 

"Why," said he, "that was the very time that I 
was in Brother parkin's bank. He told me of 
your illness, and begged me to come and preach for 
you, and I am here in compliance with his request.'* 

I exclaimed: "The Lord be praised! He sent 

Never in my life did I hear a more appropriate 
sermon. The audience was filled with enthusiasm, 
and we had a glorious meeting, which was a source 
of great encouragement in my future labors in this 

Wesley Chapel, Cincinnati. 555 

The revival influence continued during the 
winter and spring. It took a deep hold upon the 
membership ; but the masses were not reached as I 
had hoped and desired. My congregations were 
not such as I had hoped they would be, although 
they were increased. And now I prayed God that 
this problem might be solved — this great problem 
of reaching the people in his own way. 

I was sitting one morning in a barber-shop, 
being shaved, with a large mirror in front of me, 
and a window facing the street back of me. By 
looking in the mirror I could see everything that 
was passing in the street, either going or coming. 
I looked at my watch; and, as it would require 
fifteen minutes for me to be shaved, I wanted to 
see how many persons in that time would pass the 
shop, which was situated not far from the church, 
and on the same square. 

For two or three weeks I did the same thing at 
different times in the day. I tried the same thing 
on the Sabbath, especially in the afternoon be- 
tween five and seven o'clock. I ascertained by ac- 
curate calculation that thirty-five thousand persons, 
at least, would pass the church, going and coming, 
on foot or in vehicles, every twelve hours. 

A large open space was in front of Wesley 
Chapel, and it occurred to me that, on Sabbath 
evening, about forty minutes before service, during 
good weather, the organ of the church might be 
carried out to the stone platform in front, and that 
as many singers as possible occupy the platform, 
and thus by singing and music we might be able 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

to attract the attention of the people. Without 
communicating my plan to any one, and with much 
prayer for Divine direction, one Sabbath morning 
I gave the congregation notice of what I intended 
to do, and asked how many would volunteer to 
carry out the organ at the hour named, and return 
it to its place. A number expressed their willing- 
ness to do this, and agreed to stand upon the plat- 
form and sing. 

The outside world was not looking for anything 
of the kind. We began at the hour named. The 
first tones of the organ arrested attention. The 
singers were in the best of trim, and the music 
was unusually attractive. There was a spiritual 
power about it which thrilled those on the platform, 
and all who heard it. Sometimes I was out in the 
crowd which began to gather. I found that there 
were Jews, Catholics, Infidels, Protestants, members 
of other Churches, blacks and whites, some of the 
best people of Cincinnati, and some of the worst, 
to the number of hundreds, assembled on the side- 
walk and the street. 

Two Germans walking along in front, paused, 
when one said: 

"Vhat ish dot?" 

The other replied, " I do n't know." 
"I know it ish humbug," said the other. 
"I go." 

" No, I like to hear the music, and I stay," and 
they remained. 

I addressed the assembly for about twenty-five 
minutes, and had the most perfect attention and 

Wesley Chapel, Cincinnati. 557 

good order. The police did not put in an appear- 
ance. At the conclusion I said: 

"My friends, I am now about to preach. The 
seats in this church are free. We want them filled. 
Everybody who will be respectful, Jew or Gentile, 
Protestant or Catholic, rich or poor, black or white, 
is welcome. Let the worst, the most helpless, 
come, and they will be treated with respect and 
kindness, and I will endeavor to preach the gospel 
of love to you who come." 

They rushed in, and my usual congregation 
was more than double that evening. They were 
charmed by the singing, and listened to my re- 
marks with most solemn attention. 

At the close I requested any who had made up 
their minds to be Christians, and desired to have 
the prayers of God's people, to arise. Sixteen 
arose. A number joined the Church. The news 
of it went out over the city, and the next Sabbath 
evening we had a still larger congregation, with 
visible token that our labor was not in vain in the 

A man under the influence of liquor spoke to 
me, and said : 

" I like this. I am not altogether sober, but I 
know what I am doing. I will come again." 

I said : " I hope you will, and be sober when you 
come. Bring all your friends with you. I desire 
to help every one of you." And he put his arms 
around me, and thanked me. 

My Jewish friends were out in force. In the 
church the exercises were of thrilling interest, and 

558 Bringing the Sheaves. 

many were seeking Christ. The congregations on 
Sabbath mornings increased in numbers and in 
interest, and the spirit of the revival diffused itself 
more and more. 

I remember that a noted infidel who never at- 
tended any place of worship, with a son of about 
twelve years of age, whose mother was dead, sat on 
the steps across the street, and listened with rapt 
attention while we sang, "I am so glad that our 
Father in heaven," etc., with the chorus, "What a 
wonder that Jesus loves me !" They were both 

In a large building across the street lived 
Colonel B., the manager of John Robinson's great 
show. He had adopted a little boy about five years 
old, one of the noblest children I ever saw. He 
carried this boy with him, and made him a conspic- 
uous figure in the exhibitions as they rode around 
the circle. There was a boldness, a daring, a no- 
bility in the appearance of the boy, that is seldom 
seen in one so young. He heard the song, u Jesus 
loves me," and was attracted by it, and begged the 
privilege of coming over to the meeting; a servant 
girl brought him to my house close by, and there, 
evening after evening, that child would be. Young 
as he was, he gave strong proof of conversion. He 
said to me : 

"Indeed, preacher, Jesus has given me a new 

"How do you know?" I asked. "How do you 

"I love Jesus, and I love everybody." 

Wesley Chapel, Cincinnati. 559 

He had offended one of the members of my 
family, and, with his face almost shining with joy, 
he said: 

"Will yon forgive me? I have been a bad 
boy," and kissed him. It is needless to say that 
he was forgiven. He said to me one day : 

" Preacher, I wish yon would pray for my papa 
and mamma, that they may have new hearts, so 
they won't swear, and get angry and quarrel any 

One day he looked up, and said, 

" O, how I would love to go up to heaven, and 
stay a day with Jesus !" 

He was taken away from the city about a year 
after that, when he had become useful in our Sun- 
day-school. I can but pray, if living, that God 
will lead him to fountains of living water, and 
make him a power for good. 

The incidents connected with this outdoor re- 
vival were so numerous and interesting, they would 
fill a volume. 

One day a man somewhat intoxicated, and look- 
ing as though he had seen better days and might 
be lifted to a higher plane, came to me, and said : 

"I like your meetings. You give us poor fel- 
lows a chance. I will come again." 

The next Sabbath afternoon he was there, look- 
ing decidedly improved. He said : 

"I am going to lead a new life. I am from In- 
diana. I left my family, and they do n't know 
where I am. I will say nothing about my present 
position, or the change which has already taken 

5 6 ° 

Bringing the Sheaves. 

place. I will save my money, be industrious, dress 
myself like a gentleman, and, if possible, return to 
my family." 

He attended the meetings, was happily con- 
verted, and in a few weeks he had secured a good 
position, and appeared at the services dressed 
like a gentleman, so that he could scarcely be rec- 
ognized. I conversed with him often, and he told 
me that he would soon return to Indiana to glad- 
den his wife and children by the wonderful change 
which had taken place. He finally left. I gave 
him a letter to the Presbyterian pastor of his place, 
describing his case, and commending him to the 
confidence and love of the pastor. He determined 
to unite with the Presbyterian Church, which was 
attended by his wife and children. About two 
weeks passed, when one day I received a let- 
ter, evidently written by a child, which began 
thus : 

"Dear Mr. and Mrs. Fee, — You do not know 
me. I am a little girl, about twelve years old. 
But we all talk about you, and pray for you every 
day of our lives. We were so surprised and de- 
lighted one day to have our dear papa come home. 
He looked so nice, was dressed like a gentleman, 
and he told us that he was a Christian, and showed 
us a letter that you had given him. At night he 
said we must have prayers in our family, and join 
the Church, and he kneeled down and prayed. And 
O, what a prayer ! We all went to the Presbyte- 
rian Church last Sunday, and mamma and papa 
and myself, all joined the Church, and the people 

Wksl,Ky Chapel, Cincinnati. 561 

were all so glad and rejoiced to receive us. We 
will never forget you, never !" 

That letter was more to me than any bank-note 
I ever held in my hands. 

The revival influence, resulting mainly from 
these outdoor meetings, reached persons of all 
classes. Street venders of different articles at the 
street corners were drawn there, and professed 
conversion. They began to advertise the meeting, 
and to invite others to come. Actors in the thea- 
ters were convicted, and some of them were con- 
verted and gave up their profession. Englishmen, 
Scotchmen, Irishmen, and Germans, who had left 
their homes in Europe, were drawn to these meet- 
ings and saved. Many a misanthropist, friendless, 
hopeless, bitter, and vindictive in his disposition, 
was drawn to these meetings, which revived the 
memories of home, mother, and friends, long since 
departed, and they were thus led to Christ. Some- 
times only a word or two would be heard by those 
who attended these meetings, and yet they would 
fasten upon their hearts like a nail in a sure place. 

Jews came to me, a number of them, and 
thanked me for my labors, saying that it was 
doing their children great good ; that they liked 
the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, although they 
did not believe that he was the Messiah. They 
begged of me not to give the meeting up. Almost 
every variety of character was to be found there. 
One day a man, staggering under the influence of 
strong drink, approached me and said : 

"Mr. Fee, I want you to talk to my son Bill. 


Bringing the Shkavks. 

He 's a fool. He can't touch liquor without its 
knocking him off his pins; and I think if you 
will talk to him, you can persuade him to give it 
up altogether." 

Then, as he fell against me, he said: "I can 
take it or let it alone, just as I please. It never 
affects me." 

I soon rejoiced in seeing both him and his son 
united with God's people. 

One day a young man convicted of sin, said: 

"I am a clerk. I have an engagement to do 
something for my employer, and I must leave. 
O," said he, " I think I am so near converted, I 
would like to remain ; but my word is out, and I 
must go." 

He sprang on a street-car, and away he went; 
but he did not travel many squares until God con- 
verted him, and he shouted the praise of God, to 
the amazement of the people in the car. He 
came back to our next meeting, and told the won- 
derful manner in which God had saved him. 

Many who were brought under religious awak- 
ening would come to me to converse about their 
souls. We had bulletin-boards set up in front, 
containing passages of Scripture appealing to the 
unconverted, and giving the times of service, and 
inviting everybody to come to Christ. 

Scores of sinners were arrested in this way, 
and converted to God. I was busy day and 
night, and seldom sat down to the table without 
being called upon to meet one or more persons, 
and often to talk to them about their souls. 

Wesley Chapel, Cincinnati. 563 

Heart-broken wives, fathers, and mothers would 
appeal to me on behalf of husband and sons. I 
received letters from distant points, Bast, West, 
North, and South, from people hearing of my 
meetings through their friends in Cincinnati, who 
had been impressed by them. Men of great 
wealth and citizens of influence in the city would 
often come to me, and, although they were not 
Christians, would thank me for the efforts I was 
making, and would contribute money to enable 
me to carry on my work. 

I had gas-jets brought to the front, with re- 
flectors which threw streams of light up and down 
the street. These silent sheets of light often 
brought persons to the congregation who would 
listen with the deepest attention while I pointed 
them to Christ, the light of the world. 

I visited everywhere. I made it a rule to enter 
every open door. Early in the spring of 1874 
Mrs. Fee and myself were invited to engage in 
what was called " a midnight mission," the object 
of which was to go out at that hour into the city, 
two and two, and make such effort as we could for 
the salvation of fallen women. A number of the 
most prominent men and women, together with a 
few ministers and their wives, engaged in this 
work. We have every reason to believe that many 
of these unfortunate women were led to Christ, by 
being taken from the building where we held our 
meeting to the Home of the Friendless, where, 
under the instrumentality of these ladies, they 
were led to Christ. I never felt that I was doing 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

a more Christ-like work than I did then. Jnst as 
this enterprise reached a most hojDeful stage, the 
" Woman's Temperance Crusade " was introduced 
into Cincinnati, and swallowed up almost every- 
thing else of a reformative nature. 

At this time Mrs. Fee and myself received let- 
ters from Piqua, Ohio, stating that a Crusade move- 
ment of the women had been inaugurated in that 
city, and begging us to come at once to their help. 
We did so, and found the excitement great. To 
our surprise, we found our daughter, Mrs. Louise 
Fee Hedges, young as she was, one of the most 
active promoters of it. We rejoiced in the work 
being done, and, filled with inspiration, we returned 
to Cincinnati ; but neither of us could rest until 
something was done there. 

I attended the Preachers' Meeting on the next 
Monday morning at the Book Concern. I was re- 
quested to give an account of the strange Crusade 
movement as I saw it in Piqua. I did so, and a 
deep interest was excited. I had drawn up a pre- 
amble and resolutions in favor of calling a public 
meeting, to be held on the next Tuesday in Wes- 
ley Chapel, to see what God would have us do in 
this work. They were unanimously adopted ; and 
I was requested to present the same resolutions at 
the meeting of the evangelical preachers, and ask 
them to participate, which they agreed to do. The 
meeting was accordingly held, and was presided 
over by Mrs. Ferguson. An immense audience 
was present, and great interest prevailed. 

For months this subject engrossed our atten- 

WKSI.KY ChapkIv, Cincinnati. 565 

tion ; but we carried on our revival-meetings as 
best we could, with, most blessed results. No 
movement was ever more remarkable for the 
presence and power of the Holy Spirit, which 
moved upon the hearts and minds of the members 
in pentecostal time, than the Crusade was in its 
benefits and in its progress for a time, to all in- 
tents and purposes. 

Thus far, in the history of my pastorate here, 
the members of our Church were being educated 
to the idea of a continual revival of religion. 
They were more and more deeply imbued with 
the spirit of Christ. Like their Master, they were 
going about among all classes of people doing 
good; and they were inspired with a joy which the 
gathering of sheaves into the garner of the Lord 
will always inspire. At the close of my first year, 
I had multiplied reasons to thank God and take 
courage. - The people of my charge trusted me, 
and were willing to follow my leadership. This 
was a great point gained. Of this I had abundant 
evidence. So far as I knew, there had been but 
little dissatisfaction expressed with my labors. 

The Conference for 1874 me ^ a ^ Wilmington, 
Ohio, Bishop Foster presiding ; and I was again 
appointed, to Wesley Chapel. I began the year 
in the spirit of revival. My congregation had 
largely increased, and the proofs of Christ's power 
to save to the very uttermost were abundant all 
around us. No meeting was too small, as I be- 
lieved, to be without results. I was learning the 
importance of little things in God's work, as I 


Bringing the Shkaves. 

had never known it before. My soul was eager 
for work, and my eyes were looking for it. 

I was too busy in my revival work at this time 
to have very accurate knowledge of the revivals 
in other Churches. As I now remember, there 
was a general quickening. Our City Council was 
not proving itself the friend of morals. The 
mayor was in sympathy with the very worst 
elements of society. The police knew him, and 
were ready to obey his will. Defenseless women 
were rudely treated ; praying bands of Crusaders 
were mobbed, and no protection was granted them. 
Forty-three of these ladies were arrested at one 
time for praying near the sidewalk, under the plea 
on the part of the police that the men were noisy 
and ungovernable, and they found it easier to 
arrest the women than the men. 

This excuse was offered in the Police Court by 
some of these officials who were under oath. The 
mayor had given instructions to the police that, if 
the women continued to pray and sing in the 
streets, they should not afford them protection 
against mobs. 

The city was in a state of general demoraliza- 
tion. About this time an ordinance was brought 
before the City Council providing for the license of 
brothels. The ministers of the various denomina- 
tions had a meeting, and resolved to make a special 
effort to secure a protest of the citizens against it. 
Robert M. Hatfield, pastor of St. Paul Church, and 
myself were appointed a committee to obtain sig- 
natures in protest against this outrage, and we 

Wesley Chapel, Cincinnati. 567 

were to present it, as far as possible, to all classes 
of citizens. This we did, and trie ordinance was 
quietly shelved. Corrupt as the men of the Coun- 
cil were, they were afraid to face the indignation 
they had kindled against themselves. Rev. Joseph 
Emery, Baptist missionary, who had been preach- 
ing on the streets for years, was arrested one Sun- 
day for blockading the street, and taken to the 
lock-up. News of these things went abroad, and 
created over the country an amount of indignation 
which put the city officials to shame. 

I went on with my revival work as best I could 
during the summer. Valuable accessions con- 
tinued to be made to the Church, and my second 
year closed with general prosperity in the charge. 
The outdoor meetings were still held. Mrs. Fee 
often addressed the people who gathered, eager to 
hear a woman speak. Many backslidden members 
were restored to their first love, and lukewarmness 
disappeared almost altogether. 

Conference was held in Cincinnati, September 
1, 1875. I was reappointed to Wesley Chapel by 
Bishop Andrews. William L,. Hypes was now my 
presiding elder. He was my bosom friend, and has 
been ever since. I have had few friends in this 
world like Dr. Hypes. He took the deepest inter- 
est in my work, and regretted the possibility of my 
removal at the end of the third year. He was 
anxious, as was Bishop Simpson and others, that 
Wesley Chapel should be converted into a mission- 
ary charge, so that I might remain there indefi- 
nitely; but I strenuously objected. 

5 68 

Bringing the Sheaves. 


The beginning of my third year found the tide 
of the revival yet rising. My congregation still 
grew. The large auditorium was filled with peo- 
ple. The fact was demonstrated that we were 
reaching the masses. 

The horse auctioneers on Fifth Street were 
found with their employees in large numbers in 
our congregations. The most prominent man 
among them, the proprietor of the oldest establish- 
ment in the city, Captain Stevens, was converted, 
and united with the Church. Before the year 
closed, his lamp of life went out, and he entered 
into rest. 

I have already made an allusion to an inter- 
view between Bishop Foster and myself, and his 
suggestion that an audience-room which would 
hold three hundred people should be formed, so 
that I might have a full house, and my reply. He 
met me one day, and said : 

" I will preach for you on Sunday night if you 
desire it; but you must not advertise it, for I may 
fail to come." 

The day was rather inclement. The evening 
came, and it was snowing and sleeting, and the 
weather was unfavorable. The bishop reached the 
church fifteen minutes before the hour of service. 
I suppose one thousand persons were then present. 
He was astonished. 

u You must have a great revival interest here," 
said he, " or the congregation would not be col- 
lected so early." 


Wesley Chapel, Cincinnati. 569 

I replied, "Bishop, tliey are not all here yet, by 
a great deal." 

" They must be," he said. 
" You shall see," I replied. 

They continued to come in. He began the 
service at the time, and when we were singing the 
last hymn before the sermon, he whispered to me 
and said : 

"This is wonderful. Wesley Chapel is seeing 
her best days ; but they are all in ?" 

"Not yet," I replied. "How many do you 
suppose came in between the reading of the first 
hymn and the present one?" 

" I do not know," he replied. 

Said I, " Four hundred and sixty; and hundreds 
more will be here. Now," said I, "Bishop, if I 
had followed your advice, and cut down this church 
so as to hold only three hundred persons, what a 
predicament we would be in to-night!" 

"I am glad," said he, "that you took your own 
course, and that God has so wonderfully blest 

He preached a remarkable sermon, and the large 
altar was filled with seekers of salvation. Many 
were convicted and converted that night. The 
bishop was overwhelmed with gratitude to see the 
power of God displayed there. 

At the conclusion of his sermon, the audience- 
room was packed, and the gallery was filled to its 
utmost capacity. The windows were let down, 
and a stream of cold air fell upori my head, which 
brought on a congestive chill that almost cost me 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

my life. I was unconscious from ten o'clock that 
night until noon the next day. 

My physician, Dr. Bramble, was called to my 
bedside. I had just returned to consciousness. 
He shook his head, and said : 

" Your attack is a serious one, and you are in a 
dangerous condition. If it were not for one thing 
you might soon get well ; but the trouble with you 
is, that you still manage this revival, and you will 
carry the weight of it upon you, and I know not 
how it will be averted, for it will take time." 

I replied : " Doctor, I see where I am. That 
which you fear gives me no uneasiness. I have 
left the matter in the hands of God, who cares for 
me and for his Church, and i he doeth all things 

The result was a bronchial attack. I was soon 
upon my feet, but dared not enter the church. 
Charles W. Rowland, my special friend, came to see 
me, just after the doctor left. He said : 

" This is the strangest thing I ever knew. 
That you should be prostrated in the midst of such 
a work as we have here, surpasses all my thoughts. 
I can not understand it; and yet we can not help 
it. You have done all a mortal can do. Have you 
any idea as to what we shall do?" 

I answered: "Yes. The revival will go on, 
and you take charge of it in my absence, and if 
you need my counsel or help, come in." 

He reflected a moment, and said, 

"I will do all that I can." 

There was no interruption in the revival. Souls 

Wksley Chapkl, Cincinnati. 571 

were converted every night. I was among them 
much sooner than the doctor thought. By prudence 
I rapidly recovered, but have suffered much from 
the consequences of it from that time to this. 

Brother Rowland proved himself a general in the 
management of our meetings. He had courage, 
faith, zeal, prudence, and perseverance, which made 
him a power for good. He still lives, and is one 
of my best earthly friends. His uncle, the distin- 
guished Bishop H. H. Kavanaugh, of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church, South, a grand preacher, 
a noble man, was a friend of mine, whose kind- 
ness and counsels I shall never forget. He is 
with God. 

Before I close the sketch of my labors in Wes- 
ley Chapel, Cincinnati, it will not be out of place 
for me to give some statistics of my work and its 
results in that old historic charge during a period 
of three years. I do it for the glory of God and 
for the encouragement of those who are engaged 
in similar work in our large towns and cities. 

My predecessor left for me a list of two hun- 
dred and eighty members and probationers. About 
sixty persons that were enrolled in the Church- 
book I never found, and their names were erased, 
thus leaving two hundred and twenty in all. At 
the close of my third year's pastorate, I returned 
to the Conference five hundred and thirty-four, a 
larger number than had been returned since the 
year 1846, and the Church then embraced the 
Welsh Mission. 

Of the three hundred and sixty received on 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

trial during the three years, two hundred and two 
were men, forty-four more men than women, and 
only eight or ten of these were under eighteen 
years of age, which is an unusual circumstance. 
Two hundred and fifty-five of these probationers 
lived within five squares of the church. The Sun- 
day-school was doubled in numbers, showing that 
we had reached a population in the heart of the 
city, which, by common consent, was regarded as 
beyond all reach ; and the missionary efforts of the 
members of this Church had formerly been put 
forth more than a mile from Wesley Chapel, and 
in the immediate neighborhood of other Churches. 
There was work at home; but they sought it 
abroad to the neglect of that so necessary in their 
midst. Is not this at present, in many places, the 
real state of affairs? 

Among the converts, during my pastorate, a 
large number had been Romanists, and they em- 
braced religion as others did. Wesley Chapel, 
from that time to this, has been more active and 
aggressive than it had been for many years previous 
to the great work of which I speak. When we re- 
member that the population there is fluctuating, it 
is more remarkable that the effect yet remains to 
attest its power. 


'HE Conference of 1876 was held at Oxford; 

1 but I was not present. I received a dispatch 
while I was visiting in Zanesville from my presid- 
ing elder, W. L,. Hypes, saying: ''Greenfield. Will 
it suit?" I answered at once, "You and the 
bishop must take the entire responsibility. " The 
appointment was made, and was a surprise to the 
people of Greenfield and to my friends generally. 
Greenfield at that time was a town of two thou- 
sand inhabitants, with a large country around it, 
situated on Paint Creek, near the borders of Ross 
County. The principal Churches were Methodist, 
Presbyterian, and Baptist; and at this time they 
were in entire harmony with each other. 

Years before this, Samuel D. Clayton had been 
blest with a wonderful revival of religion there. 
Many prominent ministers had labored there in 
previous years with varied success. One of the 
pleasures connected with my labors in Greenfield 
was the fact that I should follow in my pastorate 
Frank G. Mitchell, whom I had the honor of in- 
troducing into the ministry, assured that, under 
all the circumstances, he had done his utmost to 
prepare the way of the Lord. The membership 
was large, scattered over an area of nearly twelve 



Bringing the Sheaves. 

miles square, making it a heavy charge. Religion 
for some years had been at a low ebb. I saw 
at once that hard, earnest, patient work was 
before me. 

The management of the finances had fallen 
principally upon one man, who was not sustained 
by others as he should have been. I now refer to 
Brother McClain, a devoted Christian and a lover 
of the Church, who was willing to do all he could 
to promote the success of the ministry. 

I was hospitably received at the residence 
of Mr. and Mrs. Waddel, and I shall always hold 
them in grateful remembrance for their kindness 
to us. Mr. Waddel was a prominent business man 
of the town and a leading citizen. James T. Bail 
was then presiding elder of the district, an able 
preacher of the gospel and faithful in his work. 
I began as far as possible to make full proof of 
my ministry, not only in preaching the Word, but 
in attendance upon all the public and private 
means of grace, and visiting from house to 
house. I soon ascertained that a large number 
lived at a distance from the church, and that I 
had to commence visiting them at once, for they 
were generally delinquent. Sometimes I was able 
to see only one or two families a dav, with twelve 
miles of travel on foot. 

One day I walked six miles to see one family 
that had ceased to attend religious service. I had 
never met them, nor had they seen me. The 
brother had been faithful in assisting the choir; 
but even that work had lost its charms. He was 



in the Church ; but the Church was not in him. 
We met; and, after asking about their health, 
crops, etc., I learned from him that the nearest 
church to his residence was my own. He finally 
told me that he guessed his name was on the 
Church records at Greenfield; that he had never 
seen the new pastor, and did not know his name; 
but thought that he would go some time and see 
him, for he was always anxious to know what kind 
of a preacher officiated at the Church which he 
called his own. 

I remained for over an hour before I spoke at 
length on the subject of religion and the fearful re- 
sults of neglecting religious duty. He began to 
be restless, and said it had been a long time since 
he had been to the Church. He began to suspect 
something, and was evidently in an uneasy posi- 
tion. He finally asked me if I was not the new 
preacher, and I told him I was. He asked my 
name, and I gave it. He apologized for his neg- 
lect; and said that he was ashamed to visit the 
church, because everybody would notice, and he 
would be made a subject of remark. I said: " I 
suppose you are like an old lady of my acquaintance, 
who once told me she could not see how ladies 
could bear to dress their hair every day, for it 
almost killed her to do it once a week." He at 
once saw the point, and made the application. 
He asked, "Where 's your horse?" 

I pointed to my feet, and said, "Here." 

"You then walked?" 

"Yes," I replied. 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

"All that distance?'' 
"Yes sir." 

"Well," said he; "you won't walk back; I 
will take you back in my buggy." 

I said, "It 's very kind of you; but I can walk 
back very easily." 

"Well," said he, "you must have some din- 
ner;" and they got me a royal meal, after which I 
prayed with them. He then took me back to 
town; and from that time to the close of my pas- 
torate there he was faithful in his attendance, and 
was a much better man. 

He told his neighbors about my hard and per- 
severing work to get delinquents out, and it had 
its effect upon most of them. One of them, whom 
I shall name J. T., for six years or more had 
but seldom attended the Church services. He 
was about sixty years of age, a rough man, and 
had never been converted. He had no desire to 
meet a minister. I visited his house several times; 
but he was always absent, and, when he heard of 
my coming, he expressed a strong desire to meet 
me, and give me a royal lecture over my imperti- 
nence in following people around who were delin- 
quent and did not do their duty. I had never 
seen him until I had been in the town about eight 
months, when one day I met him in the office of 
a prominent physician of the town. I noticed a 
tall, rugged-looking man standing up, to whom 
I nodded, and scarcely received any recognition in 
return. The doctor looked at him, and then at 
me, and said, "Do n't you know who that is?" 


"No," I replied. 
" Never met him ?" 

" Why, he is one of your flock." 
" Then he must be one of the lost sheep. 
Doctor, I hope you will give me his name." 
Said he, " That is J. T." 

"Is it possible?" I exclaimed. "Why, J. T., 
I have chased you again and again, and now I 
have chased you right up into a Presbyterian 
doctor's office. Now, J. T., I have a lecture laid 
up for you ; and for fear I may never see you again, 
I will give it to you at once." 

I never talked more plainly to any man in my 
life than I did to this man. Said I: "You won't 
go to heaven yourself, and are standing in the way 
of your sons going to heaven ; hence they are 
going to hell. You won't enter into life yourself, 
nor encourage any of your family to do so." 

"Well," he replied, "I suppose I deserve all 
you have said. I ought to do better, and I think 
I will be a better man." 

" You might as well commence to-day," I 
went on, "right here and now, to turn over a new 
leaf and lead a new life. Just give us your hand 
on that." 

He did so, and was evidently nonplused. I 
held his hand, and continued to shake it, and then 
talked to him more tenderly than I had done be- 
fore. There were tears in his eyes, tears in 
mine, and in the doctor's. I said: "God bless 
you. I want to see you again." 


578 Bringing the Sheaves. 

A temperance reformation was going on at that 
time; and he and his sons, with hundreds of 
others, signed the pledge ; and there was a great 
change in that family, to my surprise and to the 
surprise of everybody else. He came to my house 
one day, and made me a handsome present in 
money. I did not lose his respect, if I ever had 
it; and I think I gained a place in his heart that 
I did not have before. He often attended Church 
after that. 

We had some revival interest during the win- 
ter, and a number were converted and reclaimed ; 
and the Church evidently rose to a higher relig- 
ious plane, and was prepared, as I believed, for a 
great work of grace. We had a few earnest, de- 
voted, spiritual members; but there was much 

The county fair came on; and this was a test, 
to a great extent, of the firmness of many of our 
best members. I received a note, with a ticket in- 
closed, inviting me to attend, and was informed by 
the friends who brought it that the fair was di- 
vided into two departments. On one side there 
was to be racing, and on the other an exhibition 
of the produce of the county ; and the racing was 
intended, they said, only for the friends of the 

I remarked that, when I was in Hamilton a 
few years before, all the ministers of that place 
received complimentary tickets to an animal-show, 
and were invited to attend. This show had a 
circus connected with it; and visitors could take 



their choice, and go into the one or the other, just as 
they preferred. I said, in reply to the invitation 
then sent me, that I would go to neither, and was 
brought to task by a gentleman, who demanded of 
me what objection I could offer to the animals. I 
replied that I had none; I only objected to the bad 
company the animals were in the habit of keeping. 

The show came ; and several of the ministers 
went in, and found themselves right in the circus. 
The clown, learning that a number of the clergy- 
men had bitten at the bait and were in the midst 
of the circus, said : 

" It takes two feet to get into this show; a re- 
ligious foot to get into the animal-show, and a 
wicked foot to take you into the circus." 

" So, brethren," I said, " when the devil comes 
for the sinner, I would like to know what is to be- 
come of the saint. When he comes for the people 
in one department of the fair, what 's to become of 
the people in the other department? — for they be- 
long to the same association, and will do the same 

During my pastorate in Wesley Chapel, the 
great Crusade movement had its origin in Hills- 
boro, and extended to other places. Mrs. Fee 
had been very active and prominent in this move- 
ment. When we reached Greenfield, we found 
that the excitement on the subject of temperance 
had died out, and it was almost impossible to 
arouse any interest whatever on this subject. 

For months Mrs. Fee and a few others labored 
and prayed for better times. About the middle of 

5 8o 

Bringing the Sheaves. 

the year the first public meeting was held. It 
was rather largely attended, and a deep impres- 
sion was made upon many minds. Another meet- 
ing was appointed to be held in the City Hall, on 
the next Sabbath afternoon. This increased the 
interest; and a third meeting was appointed at 
the Presbyterian Church for Monday night, at the 
close of which the Hon. Henry L,. Dickey, the 
member of Congress from that district, to the sur- 
prise of all his friends, arose and moved that a 
Gospel Temperance movement be organized on the 
next night, in the City Hall. The motion carried, 
and Mr. Dickey was appointed to deliver the 

The " Murphy Pledge " was at that time pre- 
sented ; and he, to the surprise of all his friends, 
was the first to sign it, and was followed by a 
large number of prominent citizens. From this 
time the work went on marvelously until it swept 
the town and extended to Chillicothe and sur- 
rounding cities. As a result about thirteen thou- 
sand signed the pledge. It was a religious move- 
ment, and those who signed the pledge began to 
turn their attention to religion, and a number of 
them united with the Church. 

Mr. Dickey united with the Presbyterian Church 
the next Sabbath after he signed the pledge, and 
he was followed by many others who went into the 
several Churches. Persons united with the Church 
every Sabbath, and we seemed to be in the midst 
of a general revival. 

I went to the Conference at the close of the 



year, feeling that I had never left a field so white 
to the harvest, and giving such promise for the 
future. There was a unanimous desire on the part 
of my own Church and other Churches, as well as 
the citizens generally, that we should be returned, 
and we supposed we would ; indeed, I never felt 
so desirous of returning to any charge as I did on 
this occasion. I had not received the full amount 
of my salary, it is true, by two hundred dollars 
and over; but I was amply repaid by the glorious 
results which had attended my labors. 

When I reached Xenia to attend the Confer- 
ence, myself and wife became the guests of Mr. 
and Mrs. Drees, who were among our best earthly 
friends. Bishop Gilbert Haven, of Boston, was a 
guest also of Mr. and Mrs. Drees, and he presided 
over the Conference. 

To my utter amazement, I soon heard it whis- 
pered that I was to be removed from Greenfield, 
and appointed presiding elder of the Ripley Dis- 
trict, but I hoped that the rumor was not true ; but 
when Bishop Haven named the matter to me him- 
self, and expressed his earnest desire to appoint 
me, I at once informed him that I had no qualifica- 
tions for such a position, and had no desire for it. 
The district was large, and it would involve an 
amount of travel and exposure which I believed 
would be fatal to my health. Again, I was poor, 
and it would necessitate a debt of perhaps five 
hundred dollars. Although I was out of debt, I 
could not sustain this expense. He acknowledged 
the difficulty, and told me that an outfit would be 

582 Bringing the Sheaves. 

furnished me, so that I need not be involved in any 
serious outlay ; that there had been a great deal of 
bitterness in that district toward the ministers, 
growing out of the Civil War, and it was believed 
that I would be more likely to succeed in quieting 
this disturbance than any other man. 

I could not see this as the bishop did, and 
frankly told him that I had no ambition in that 
direction; that a number of ministers could be 
found in the Conference who were not only willing, 
but anxious to take the position. He then in- 
formed me that he would not appoint any man 
whom he knew to be anxious to obtain the position. 

I honestly believed, with the light I then had, 
that God had called me to the pastoral work. In 
that, it was generally understood, I had succeeded, 
and I had no conscious conviction that it was my 
duty to accept a position which would throw me 
virtually out of my regular pastoral work. I feared 
the consequences of being taken out of the work 
for which I was fitted. 

I at last told the bishop that I had solemnly 
promised that I would obey those who had the rule 
over me, and I felt the force of this obligation. I 
never experienced such a contingency as this ; but 
at the same time I must respect my vows. There 
were but two things I said I could do — I could 
accept the position tendered me, or I could dissolve 
my relation to the Conference, and in that way 
escape the obligation. With some surprise, he 
asked : 

" Do you mean that you would locate ?" 



I said : " I see no other way if you insist on 

"My dear brother," he said, "I would not have 
you do this on any account. I would not force 
you into any such position as this." 

The matter rested there for a time, and I sup- 
posed I was free ; but about three o'clock one morn- 
ing he came to my door, and said : 

"I have slept none to-night. I must appoint 
you on certain conditions, which I will name in 
the morning." 

He then told me that he would appoint me to 
the district for three months, and if I found that I 
could not continue in it, he would relieve me, and 
give me a better appointment than I had at Green- 
field. That morning the appointments were read 
out, and for the first time I was made the presid- 
ing elder of a district. It was a great affliction to 
my wife and myself, as we both supposed it would 
cost me my life, and we felt that I was thrown out 
of what I believed to be an harmonious relation 
with God's providence. 

The district embraced a territory thirty miles 
wide, and about one hundred miles long, requiring 
about five thousand miles travel per annum, with 
more than twenty charges, thirty traveling preach- 
ers, and eight thousand members. Dr. Granville 
Moody was my predecessor, and generously did all 
he could do to aid me in my new position. 

When Bishop Haven bade me "good-bye," he 
said: "I shall think often of you, and my prayers 
shall follow you. I have an abiding faith that if 

584 Bringing the Sheaves. 

you should see me two years from now, you will say 
that it was the best thing that ever happened to 
you, and will tell me I was right." It was not long 
until he was suddenly called from labor to reward. 

When we returned to Greenfield after Confer- 
ence, we found the members of the Church greatly 
excited, and, indeed, the town, over our removal. 
Great sympathy was expressed for us, and the 
citizens offered to rent a house and furnish it for us 
at their own expense, so as to keep Mrs. Fee within 
the boundaries of Greenfield to supervise the tem- 
perance work. This was impossible, however, and 
we removed to Ripley, on the Ohio River, where I 
had formerly been the pastor, and was received 
most cordially. 

Our former friend, Mrs. Archibald Leggett, 
rented us a house beside her own, at reduced rates, 
and here we lived during four years, on the most 
agreeable terms with Mrs. Leggett, Chambers Leg- 
gett, her son, and family, to whom we are indebted 
for many acts of kindness and hospitality. 

On the Sunday succeeding our arrival, I began 
the most unwelcome and responsible work of my 
life. With me all was uncertain as to the pro- 
priety of the appointment. It threw me, as I sup- 
posed, out of the pastoral work, in which I had 
been engaged since the year 1842. 

Bishop Haven had said to me: "I have ap- 
pointed you, because you have been a pastor, and 
by precept and example you can do more good than 
any other man. You will have on this district a 
larger field in the pastoral work than you have 

Ripley District. 


ever had before;" but as yet I could not under- 
stand it in this way. I made up my mind, how- 
ever, cost what it would, that I would do all the 
personal pastoral work that was within my power, 
and possibly promote the condition of my call to 
the ministry in this way. This gave me some 

My first quarterly-meeting was unexpectedly 
good. Thomas J. Harris, then the pastor of Rip- 
ley charge, and the people generally, received me 
cordially and lovingly. In the afternoon I rode 
some twelve miles to Georgetown, where I was 
most kindly received, and we had a blessed meet- 
ing in that church. In my early ministry I had 
been a pastor there, and had labored over a large 
part of the territory embraced in my district here. 
I was born, converted, licensed to exhort, and en- 
tered the traveling connection here. Hundreds of 
relatives and friends resided within its bounds. I 
was to visit the Churches where I had traveled 
thirty-five years before. Many whom I supposed 
to be dead were yet living, and those whom I sup- 
posed to be living were dead. O, what changes 
had taken place in social and family relations 
within thirty-five years ! During my first round, 
for the most part, all was well. I had but two 
quarterly-meetings to hold before it was completed. 
The people were full of hope that brighter days 
were about to dawn upon my district. 

As I was coming into Ripley in the evening, 
my heart was full of gratitude to God and the peo- 
ple that I had been so blest in this difficult work, 

5 86 

Bringing tiik Sheaves. 

which was giving me so much trouble. My horse 
was a lively animal — just such a one as I needed. 
Just then the tempter suggested : "If your horse 
were to die, or be crippled in some way, you have 
not money enough to buy another, and you can not 
afford to hire one ; so you will be compelled to walk 
the hardest district in the country. For there are 
no railways, and but few public conveyances." 

I was almost stunned with the thought, and, 
just at that moment my horse stepped upon some- 
thing, that evidently gave him intense pain, and I 
supposed it had been seriously lamed. On exami- 
nation I found that an eight penny-nail had run 
into the frog of the horse's foot, and it would be 
weeks before I could again use him with safety. I 
had to leave my horse, and found that I could take 
a steamboat in the evening, and go up to an ex- 
treme point on my district, and in some way, I 
knew not how, I could land so as to reach my 
quarterly-meeting on Saturday. I prayed over my 
trials, and became reconciled to my lot. This pas- 
sage came to me, "In all thy ways acknowledge 
Him, and He shall direct thy paths." 

At first the captain of the boat said to me, 
when I told him where I was going : " I can land 

you opposite the house of Mr. ; but he is a 

mean man, and I would about as soon take my 
chances outside his residence as in it. I won't 
land you there." 

The weather was inclement, and I wondered 
what I would do. The captain soon came back, 
and said: " I have it now; I will land you opposite 

Ripley District. 587 

the residence of Judge V. I will give him signals 
with the whistle, by which he will know that a 
guest whom I indorse is coming to his house. 
Rest easy about it." 

The boat was behind time. When we reached 
the landing, the rain was pouring down in tor- 
rents, and it was so dark that I could scarcely see 
my hand before me. I could find no road leading 
up to the residence, and struggled among drift- 
wood. When I drew near the residence, the dogs 
came out in force, and I thought I should be de- 
voured. No one came to my rescue ; and, with the 
greatest difficulty I fought them off, and stood upon 
the steps of a fine residence. 

I said to myself: "All these things are against 
me. Here is one of the effects of an eightpenny- 
nail. But worse trials are before me." 

The judge was a man of noble presence, and 
was widely known. More than once he had been 
a representative in the Legislature of Ohio. He 
was a man who might have been led by a hair, 
but could not be driven by a regiment. He dif- 
fered in opinion from his fellow-citizens as to the 
late war; and, I fear, was not treated very gener- 
ously by some of them. Many of these were 
Methodists; some were Methodist ministers, whose 
public utterances and actions had embittered him 
until he had solemnly averred that he would never 
hear another Methodist minister preach, nor would 
he attend service in a Methodist Church, nor pay a 
cent for the support of ministers of that Church, nor 
would he entertain a Methodist minister at his home. 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

All this I learned before I consented to land 
at his house; but what could I do in the emer- 
gency? These words came to me: "When a man's 
ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies 
to be at peace with him." My mind was made up 
to manifest a Christian spirit, whatever might be 
said or done; and, if I was turned away in the 
rain, I would endure it patiently and joyfully for 
Christ's sake ; and the Lord blessed me in this. 

After rapping at the door, I waited a consid- 
erable length of time, when the judge made his 
appearance. He did not ask my name; but said : 
" I heard the signals from the boat given by Cap- 
tain R. I can trust him, and never turn anybody 
away whom he recommends." 

I said: "Judge, I want a shelter for the night. 
I have money enough to pay you liberally for en- 

He replied, "I turn nobody away." 

After a little, he asked the usual questions, and 
we began to converse. I suppose we conversed 
nearly an hour; but my name was not given, and 
nothing was said by me that would indicate my 
identity or my calling. We conversed pleasantly; 
and finally touched upon the subject of morals, 
dwelling upon the morals of the Bible, and we 
both agreed that if we were, individually and col- 
lectively, to follow the teachings of the Bible, it 
would be a wonderful benediction to us and to the 
world. At length he said, 

" Sir, I know nothing about your former his- 
tory; but I am certain that you are a Democrat." 

Ripley District. 


I replied: "I am not a member of that organi- 
zation, although I sometimes vote for candidates of 
that party. I have my views, and vote them. I 
allow others the same privilege which I claim for 

"That," said he, u is all I want. You are a 
Democrat still. Jesus Christ was a democrat; 
and your democracy is good enough for me." 

"You are very kind," I replied; "but I must 
be very careful in all I say and all I do." 

"I see you are," said he. 

At that moment his wife came in. Said he, 
"I have not asked your name." I gave it. 
"Fee — Fee — Fee?" said he. 
"Yes, sir," I replied. 

"Are you related to Dr. Fee, of Brown County?" 

"I am. He is a cousin of mine." 

"We were in the Legislature together," said 
he; "and he once saved my life. He is one of the 
dearest friends I have on earth ; and any man that 
bears his name will at once command my confi- 
dence and respect." 

He said to the colored man in his employ, "Go 
and build a fire in the spare room, and warm the 
bed, so that our guest will not take cold." 

He evidently warmed toward me, and I was 
drawn insensibly toward him. He finally began 
to give me an account of the treatment he had 
received from Methodist ministers ; and especially 
one whom I well knew, and who was described 
by the judge in no very complimentary terms. 

"Do you know him?" said he. 

59° Bringing the Sheaves. 

"Yes, well." 

"Has any one followed him in the position he 
has just left?" 

I said: "I suppose so, of course. The rule is 
that every church is to have a preacher, and 
every preacher a charge." 

He expressed his gratification that he was 
gone, and hoped he would return no more. We 
then talked freely about the gospel and its aims; of 
the ministers generally, and the spirit they had 
to manifest in their sermons and in their inter- 
course with men. 

"Do you know anything about the man who 
has come in his place?" asked the judge. 

I replied: "Yes. I have some knowledge of 

"What kind of a man is he? I have never 
heard; indeed, I have taken no pains to know," 
he said. 

"Well," I replied, "I may not know him per- 
fectly; but I believe he is a sincere man, honest 
in his convictions, and is generally understood to 
labor for peace and harmony in the Churches 
which he serves." 

Said he: "That is a great recommendation, 
sir. I am pleased to hear it. Do you know his 
name ?" 

I had been with him for more than two hours, 
and yet had concealed my identity. "Yes," said 
I. "his name is Fee." 

He sprang to his feet. "Can it be possible, 
sir, that I have the honor of entertaining at my 

Ripley District. 


house a Methodist minister with such views as you 
have expressed, and such a spirit as you man- 

"Judge, you know who I am. This is as unex- 
pected to me as it is to you. You did not invite 
me; and really I did not seek entertainment at 
your house. It all seems strange." 

Said he: "I thank God that you are in my 
house, and that you are my guest. I suppose you 
know something of my history." 

I said, "Yes, sir." 

"Then I need say nothing more. It will soon 
be twelve o'clock. Sam, is the room warm and 
the bed right?" 

"Yes, sir." 

He walked with me to the room and said, "Are 
you sleepy?" 

" No," I replied. 

He then said with emotion: "I want to say to 
you what is really true. I have said that I would 
never entertain another of the Methodist ministers 
at my house, I never would pay another cent 
toward their support, and never would hear them 
preach again. But I am sorry I ever said it." 

" So am I," I replied. "I am only a very im- 
perfect representative of the ministers with whom 
I am associated. We often say unkind and bitter 
things of each other, unbecoming the profession 
we have assumed. Permit me to say that you are 
not justified in classing us together as you have 
done, because one of our number has spoken 
amiss or has acted in an unbecoming manner. 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

The entire ministry should not be blamed because 
of one man's faults." 

" That, sir, is true. I am sorry I ever said it. 
I think I shall take it back." 

"You had better, Judge. You will feel better 
for doing so. You and I had better be engaged in 
healing the wounds that have been made, and 
stand together in the bonds of a common brother- 

" I believe it," said he. 

Midnight passed, and there I was with that 
noble-looking man, who only needed to be treated 
kindly to become one of the warmest and best of 
friends. He bade me u good-night " with a u God 
bless you." 

Early in the morning I was awakened by the 
judge himself. "I am so glad," said he, " that 
you are a guest in my house. You will pardon 
everything I have said amiss, won't you?" 

I said: "Yes. My difficulties are written in 
the sand, and the first wave of Divine love that 
comes along will wash them all away." 

"Where are you going?" he asked. 

I replied, "To my quarterly-meeting." 

"Have you a conveyance?" 

I said, "Yes." 

"Where is it?" 

I pointed to my feet. 

"You don't mean that you will walk?" 

"Yes, I am going to walk." 

"It is seven miles around," said he ; "but you 
could make it in three miles across the hills. It 

Ripley District. 


is rough and steep ; but you could make it. But 
you must not think of going from Judge V.'s in 
that way." 

"That is nothing," said I. "I think nothing 
of a walk like that in a good cause. My feet are 

He then said, " I will take you myself." 

"No, thank you ; that would be too much, and 
is not necessary." 

He saw that I was incorrigible, and said: 
"Then I will walk with you to the top of the hill, 
a mile or more, where you can see the church you 
desire to attend." 

I desired to go alone; but he said, "No," and 
he walked with me. When we reached the sum- 
mit of the hill, we looked down at the church at 
which I expected to preach, and he said : 

" I am sorry to part with you. I am thankful 
that I have met you. I am now eighty-two years 
of age, and can not live very long. I have ex- 
amined my accounts lately, and the books won't 
balance. In my life and conduct I find there is a 
heavy balance against me, and I am alarmed at 
the thought of standing before my Judge. What 
shall I do? Have you any idea?" 

" Yes," said I. " If you are willing to re- 
nounce yourself and all the sins of your past life, 
and banish all hope of saving yourself by your 
own merit or good works, and will trust to the 
merit of the death and sufferings of the L,ord Jesus 
Christ, and put them to your credit, you will pull 
through in spite of everything." 



Bringing the Sheaves. 

Excitedly lie said: " Do you really think so? 

that is too easy !" 

" But, Judge, there is no other way. I entreat 
you to look only to Christ and his merits, and ac- 
cept him as your only hope and salvation." 

He trembled from head to foot ; tears were in 
his eyes and mine, and with tender feeling I said, 
" I must go ; good-bye." 

He walked away a step or two, and said: "If 

1 am at Church to-morrow morning, do n't be sur- 
prised. I said I never would go again, and I know 
my going will excite general remark all over this 
country ; but I think I will go." 

He held his hat in his hand, and his gray 
locks were waving in the breeze of the morning. 
I said, "I believe the people will be delighted." 

The love-feast was in session the next morning, 
when who should come in but Judge V.? The 
congregation was astonished. I left the pulpit, 
and greeted him cordially, and led him to a seat, 
the most favorable for hearing in the house. At 
eleven o'clock, with the judge before me, and with 
his case upon my soul, I preached from the words, 
as best I could, " To him that worketh not, but 
believe th on him that justifieth the ungodly, his 
faith is counted for righteousness." (Rom. iv, 5.) 

The judge listened as if his soul's salvation de- 
pended upon the words that were being spoken. 
I confess that he was upon my heart that day 
more than all the others in that large congre- 

A collection was taken up to meet the claims 

Ripley District. 595 

of the presiding elder for that quarter, and Judge 
V. was the most liberal giver of all that congrega- 
tion. At the close, he came to me and held my 
hand, and he looked to me like another man. 
There was hope and peace resting upon his face, 
and, with tears in his eyes, he said : 

"In three months, remember, as long as you 
are in this part of the country, Judge V.'s house 
is to be your home." 

In six weeks I heard that he had sickened and 
died, and, as we believe, had passed to a better 
world in peace. So much for the work of an 

Now came a trial. That eightpenny-nail was 
doing its most painful work. In two hours and a 
half I must walk eleven miles, or fail to meet my 
engagement for the afternoon. I determined to 
leave the matter with God, and to state my cir- 
cumstances to nobody. 

I had not walked away twenty steps when a 
noble-looking young man met me, and said : 

" I know you. I am not going to tell you who 
I am; but I am going to take you to M. I have 
come for that purpose, and will take you there on 
time. Are you ready to go?" 

I said, "Yes." 

He took a wonderful interest in me. I could 
not tell why; but he said: " I have a reason for it, 
and you will know it sometime. Don't ask me 
why. now." 

Just as the church-bell was ringing, I entered 
the church. A large congregation was present, 

596 Bringing the Shkaves. 


and a remarkable interest pervaded the assembly 
while I spoke the word. At night many were at 
the altar of prayer, and some were converted, and 
the meeting closed with the brightest prospects. 
The next morning a difficulty arose. A matter of 
painful interest was brought up, and I was dis- 
tressed. In the afternoon I walked down to the 
river to take a boat for my home. One who 
walked with me was full of bitterness until we 
reached the boat. "There," said I to myself, "is 
that eightpenny-nail again." 

The very moment I reached the boat a gentle- 
man met me whom I had received into the Church 
when he was a boy, and said: "I am glad to meet 
you! I was coming down to see you. We have had 
a difficulty about which I wish to consult you." 

"That eightpenny-nail again," thought I; "will 
it never cease to haunt me?" 

We talked for about two hours, and, when I 
left the boat, my friend was in a better state of 
mind, I am sure, than he had been for years. I 
landed at home, and found my horse in a very 
bad condition, with but little prospect of becoming 
sound for two or three months; but I thanked 
God and took courage. 

On the next Friday I went in a public con- 
veyance a part of the way; but twelve or fifteen 
miles of muddy road were before me after I left 
it. To my surprise, I met there Mr. B., with a 
fine carriage, to take me to my next appoint- 
ment. We were scarcely seated when he began. 
He was greatly excited, full of bitterness and 

Ripley District. 


vindictiveness ; and for a long ride he and I 
struggled with the difficulty. But for that eight- 
penny-nail I should have escaped this conversa- 
tion, and should have missed the opportunity of 
doing good to this man, who would have been 
miserable forever without a change. I thanked 
God, and took courage again. 

Never during my life have I been so constantly 
busy with the difficulties, quarrels, misunderstand- 
ings, and mishaps of others as I was during this 
round, which lasted for months. Nevertheless, God 
stood by me, and I was able to act the part of a 
peacemaker. I thanked God and took courage. 

I endeavored to be careful, cautious, and con- 
servative in the administration of the Discipline 
while on the district. I was the preachers' friend, 
and the preachers were my friends; and, while 
sometimes I reproved them for their faults and 
errors, at the same time I sympathized with them 
in their work, and endeavored at all times to deal 
fairly with them, and I believe I had almost uni- 
versally their respect and confidence. I endeavored 
to impress upon the young preachers that they 
were only worth to the Church just what they were 
religiously, and what they did ; that pulpit prepa- 
ration, able sermons, and willingness in the work 
of benefiting the Church was not to be regarded, 
by any means, as the end of their work ; that all 
these things pointed to the promotion of salvation, 
and if they failed in this their failure would be dis- 
astrous ; they might win the hearts of the people 
to themselves, and yet fail to win them to the L,ord 


Bringing thk vSiikavks. 

Jesus Christ; their work began when they entered 
upon any charge, and ended only when their official 
responsililities ceased. Every minister's character 
and standing were precious in my sight. Many of 
them were poorly paid, even when they received 
their entire allowance. 

My second quarterly-meeting in Williamsburg 
was a memorable one. Sunday morning came, and 
I had a crowded congregation. I preached from 
this text: "These are they which follow the Lamb 
whithersoever he goeth." (Rev. xiv, 4.) From 
the moment I began, I had certain evidence of 
the presence of the Holy Spirit, and my sermon 
was a different one in most respects from what I 
had intended when I arose. It was not five min- 
utes until the congregation was in sympathy with 
me, and when I had preached, as I now remem- 
ber, just twenty-three minutes, there came upon 
the congregation a most wonderful influence. 
There was solemnity, then tears, then sounds of 
weeping all over the house, until my voice was 
drowned, and I sat down. 

William E. Hines, a minister of the Conference, 
whom I had led to Christ before I became a 
preacher, had been appointed by the Quarterly 
Conference to take up the collection for the elder. 
In the midst of the excitement some one came to 
me, and said: 

" Have you forgotten the collection?" 

I answered, "Yes. Where is Brother Hines?" 

"I do not know," was the reply. 

We found him lying in the altar upon his back, 

Ripley District. 


and shouting at the top of his voice. Others were 
lying prostrate over the house. They approached 
Brother Hines, and he arose. After quiet was 
somewhat restored, he said: "I am appointed to 
take up the quarterly collection. Glory to God!" 
and he began to shout again, and it was with the 
greatest difficulty that any collection could be 
taken up. 

That night fifty seekers pressed their way to 
the altar of prayer, and, in a little while, under the 
ministry of Wm. M. Boyer, more than one hundred 
souls were converted. He rests from his labors, 
and his works do follow him. 

This service was a wonderful blessing to me, 
because it was so great a blessing to that Church, 
and to others. Revivals began to break out almost 
simultaneously in different parts of the district, and 
I was constantly engaged. Sometimes for five 
weeks I did not visit my home. This was a trial 
to my family as well as to myself. I did a great 
deal of visiting, and aided the preachers when I 

I had the honor of dedicating the church at 
Bbenezer, on the Aberdeen charge, under the min- 
istry of S. N. Marsh, whom I tenderly loved, and 
with whom I was in sweetest fellowship. His 
health finally failed, and for many years he has 
lived in California. He was successful in his 
labors in all his charges. Ebenezer is still a prom- 
inent Church in that charge. The Hon. John F. 
Gains for many years was a great power there. I 
was also called on to dedicate the church at Brier 

600 Bringing the: Sheaves. 

Ridge, on the Decatur Circuit, which was built 
under great difficulties, and was dedicated free 
from debt. 

At Mount Carmel, near Cincinnati, on the Olive 
Branch Circuit, John Vance pastor, a blessed re- 
vival began with the quarterly-meeting, which re- 
sulted in the conversion of three young men, who 
became ministers of the gospel, one of whom is now 
preaching in China, as I learn. I remained with 
him just as long as I could. Brother Vance and 
wife were a noble pair, devoted to Christ and the 
work. They were full of faith and the Holy Ghost, 
and under their labors many were converted to God, 
and added to the Church. Brother Vance, from 
failing health, has been unable to labor as he once 
did ; but he trusts to Christ and his Church. He 
has the love of those who know him, and will have 
many stars in his crown of rejoicing in the day of 
the Lord Jesus Christ. 

At Bethel charge, at my first quarterly-meet- 
ing there, a blessed revival of religion broke out. 
A. D. Maddox was pastor. He and his devoted 
wife were greatly blessed. My cousin, Rev. George 
W. Fee, resided there, and aided me greatly in my 
work on the district, and was in many respects not 
only a helper, but a wise counselor in planning my 
work. He has retired from active ministerial labor. 
Brother Maddox and wife have been useful and 
efficient laborers in the vineyard of the L,ord, and 
sustain to-day a good position in the Cincinnati 

Georgetown was blest with considerable revival 

Ripley District. 

60 i 

influence under the labors of Edward McHugh. 
While this appointment, for some reason, was a trial 
to him, he soon obtained the victory, and worked 
earnestly and steadily for the promotion of souls, 
and he was favored with a great revival. God has 
blessed him in many revivals, and the last three or 
four years have been crowned with great success 
at McKendree Chapel, Cincinnati. 


This was my native place. Upon my first visit 
to it I found my aged father in failing health. He 
was eighty-six years of age. I held my first quar- 
terly-meeting here with peculiar feelings. Most of 
those whom I had known in my boyhood had passed 
away. My mother had gone to her reward ; my 
father could not survive many years. When I 
hastened to greet him, as I had done in other 
years, he did not recognize me. I said, 

" My father, do you not know your oldest son, 
your first-born?" 

He replied, " No." 

As soon as I could recover, I said, " Father, do 
you know Jesus?" 

He answered: "My son! I see, it's William. 
William, I scarcely know anybody but Jesus." 

He then asked me if they had erected a new 
church at Rural? I said, "No." 

Said he: "It has been under the influence of 
infidels for eighty years. Will we never have a 
Methodist church there?" 

Afterwards he pressed this subject again and 


Bringing thk Sheaves. 

again, until I was strangely influenced to inaugurate 
the matter of building a church there. By the aid 
of Rev. James B. Moore, Mrs. Captain Smith and 
her daughters, Miss Belle, the celebrated artist, and 
Mrs. Wheeler, of Pennsylvania, we started a sub- 
scription, and in a short time it was my privilege 
to preach the dedicatory sermon of that church, 
which cost nearly two thousand five hundred dol- 
lars, free from debt. A society was formed, and it 
is a prosperous appointment. 


In 1838 I delivered my first public exhorta- 
tion in the Methodist Episcopal Church of this vil- 
lage. In 1878, just forty years afterwards, I held a 
quarterly-meeting in the same church, as presiding 
elder. The church edifice was much dilapidated. 
I suggested making repairs, and before I left raised 
sufficient money for the purpose. During the year 
the repairs were completed, and a beautiful church 
was the result, and it stands to-day as a living 
monument of the liberality of Chilo. The place 
will always be dear to me, as I took my first step 
toward the ministry there. 

A remarkable work of grace at Gift Ridge ap- 
pointment, on the West Union charge, was con- 
ducted by Charles J. Wells and James McNealand. 
There was also a good work in other places. 

My first year on the district closed with, per- 
haps, one thousand conversions. The Annual 
Conference for 1878 was held at Piqua, Bishop 
Harris presiding. I found that my work was a 

Riplky District. 


very difficult one, requiring, on my part, a great 
deal of study and much prayerful interest. I did 
not aim so much to find out the character of the 
men in my own district — for this knowledge I 
would soon acquire — as of those in other districts, 
and was constantly looking out for live, energetic, 
spiritual, and useful men, who would bring up my 
work to a higher plane of spirituality than it had 
occupied before. 

William H. Sutherland, a member of the Ohio 
Conference, was transferred to the Cincinnati Con- 
ference on condition that I would give him work. 
I recommended him for Batavia, to which he was 
appointed ; and J. H. Lease, the former pastor, was 
removed to Cincinnati. Daniel Lee Aultman was 
brought into my district, and stationed in Manches- 
ter, where his labors were greatly blest, and his 
ministrations were highly approved. 

L,. M. Davis was compelled to retire, because of 
ill-health, in the middle of the year. By thus rest- 
ing he saved his life, and is yet doing good service. 
To fill his place, I found a young man, B. D. 
Hypes, the only son of William L,. Hypes, who 
had just been licensed to preach, and I appointed 
him to New Richmond. Since then, Brother 
Hypes has been an active and earnest minister, al- 
ways succeeding in building up the Churches to 
which he is appointed. He joined the Conference 
at the close of the year. 

A proposition was made at the Conference to 
place me on the West Cincinnati District, which 
met with great favor; but I did not desire it, and 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

the bishop saw no good reason for it, and I was 
still retained on Ripley District. 


The first church edifice erected in the North- 
west Territory by the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
between Pittsburg and the Mississippi, was on 
Scioto Brush Creek, Adams County, in the year 
1800. It was called Moore's Chapel. For many 
years it was prosperous; but it was located among 
the hills. The country around it was rather 
thickly populated; but it lay between the Ohio 
and Cincinnati Conferences, and was neglected by 
both. When I came to the district, I deeply re- 
gretted this, for my idea was that whether men 
were rich or poor, the gospel was a blessing to 
which they were entitled; and, as far as I could, I 
would do all in my power to fill it with the life of 

One afternoon I was holding a Quarterly Con- 
ference at Gift Ridge Church. At the beginning 
of the meeting, I was informed that two gentle- 
men desired to see me. They were brought in 
and introduced to me, and to the quarterly-meet- 
ing, and to the people who were present. They 
said to me: 

"We are here as the representatives of some 
fifty-two persons who have requested us to make 
application to you and to the Quarterly Conference 
for the establishment of a Church in our neighbor- 
hood and the appointment of a preacher." 

I informed the Conference of the request made, 

Ripley District. 


and begged them to permit the gentlemen to speak. 
Permission was granted; and one of them arose, 
evidently with great embarrassment. He was a 
man of good appearance, dark eyes, and earnest, 
speaking face. He not only impressed me, bnt 
every one who saw him, as a sincere man. He be- 
gan about thus: 

"Brethren, Ladies, and Gentlemen, — I live 
almost in the shadow of an old historic spot, one 
which ought to be dear to every Methodist and 
every lover of Methodism. My home is within 
three hundred yards of the site of Moore's Chapel, 
the first church edifice erected by the Methodist 
Episcopal Church west of Pittsburg. It was 
founded in the year 1800, and for a time did noble 
work. But in later years its members moved 
away, the church was neglected, and became di- 
lapidated, and it has finally fallen to pieces. At 
present there are only a few corner-stones in the 
midst of a graveyard to tell the spot where it 
stood. There is no longer any preaching in the 
neighborhood, no prayer-meeting, no Sunday- 
school, no Christian liberties or respect for Chris- 
tian institutions. I almost imagine I hear the 
spirits of the dead buried there rising up and ac- 
cusing the Church and the Church people of the 
sin of neglecting a place so dear. For many miles 
around there is no religious service. Thousands 
of men and women are living in a state of heathen- 
ism in the midst of a Christian country. 

"I am not a Methodist; but my mother is. I 
am not a Christian; I wish I was. I can not 


Bringing the: Sheaves. 

bring my children up amid such examples as I 
see around me. We must have a Church and a 
Sunday-school. And if you will permit us to 
build a church on that historic spot, and will 
send us a preacher, I will join if I have to break 
down the wall to get in." 

Every heart was moved, and every eye was 
suffused with tears. They were authorized to 
erect a church, and received a pledge of all the 
aid that could be given. As presiding elder, I 
promised as soon as possible to appoint a preacher 
if they would take care of him. They had come 
some twenty miles, and had to return home that 
night. Neither of them was a member of the 
Church nor a professor of religion. The name of 
the speaker was Adam D. Singer, and that of his 
companion was Compton. 

In three months the same men came back 
again and met me at another point, still pressing 
their demand for a pastor. I told them that I 
thought I could send a preacher, and begged them 
to remain and hear a young man who was about to 
preach. At the conclusion of the meeting, they 
said: "If he will go, we will receive him and 
stand by him." 

I spoke to the young man who had preached, 
and inquired, 

"Jesse Perry, are you willing to go and preach 
for these people?" 

"I am." 

"And will you accept the appointment?" 
"I will." 

Ripley District. 


"When can you go?" 

"I can go next Friday," said he. And on the 
next Friday he was there and began his work. 
He preached on the following Sunday ; and it was 
arranged that he should supply that place and 
others in its vicinity with regular preaching. 
Within a month he had four preaching-places— 
Moore's Chapel, Wamsley's Chapel, White Oak, 
and Dry Run. In six weeks' time he had a revi- 
val of religion, during which about one hundred 
souls were added to the Church. 

I appointed a quarterly-meeting at Wamsley's 
Chapel, and Mrs. Fee accompanied me. It was to 
be held near the site of Moore's Chapel. To the 
meeting on Saturday morning, men and women 
came on foot for nine and ten miles. One of the 
first to meet me was A. D. Singer. He had estab- 
lished a Sabbath-school, and had been elected su- 
perintendent, although not a member of the 
Church. The only man who could make a public 
prayer, Brother Thompson, resided some six miles 
distant, and was there each Sabbath morning to 
open the school. On the Sunday, previous to my 
arrival, this man was sick, and unable to be pres- 
ent. Mr. Singer was greatly embarrassed. "We 
must open the school this morning without 
prayer," said he; "but we will sing a hymn." 

About two verses of the hymn were sung, when 
Mr. Singer, with deep emotion, said: "Rather 
than open this school without prayer, I will pray 
myself as best I can." Those present were over- 
whelmed with feeling, as Mr. Singer fell upon his 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

knees and began to pray to God for mercy as a 
sinner. The Lord wonderfully blessed him, and 
he was able to conduct the school. 

He said to me: "Be sure to give an invitation 
for members." This I did at the close of the 
morning service, when Mr. Singer, his wife, and 
sister-in-law, and nineteen others came forward 
and united with the Church. The scene was in- 
tensely interesting and affecting. The power of 
the Lord was present at every service. 

Mr. Singer gave his experience in detail at the 
love-feast on Sunday morning. I preached at 
eleven o'clock. In the afternoon at four o'clock I 
made an appointment to preach on the site of 
Moore's Chapel. A large congregation was pres- 
ent. There was a corner-stone and a part of the 
foundation of the former building remaining. 
Upon this I stood, and preached from the text, 
"God is faithful." 

The sun was setting. I stood in the midst of 
scores of graves, which were filled with the re- 
mains of those who had once worshiped in the 
old temple, but who had long since joined the 
Church triumphant. At the close of the service, 
seventeen other persons, standing about the graves 
of their ancestors, united with the Church. 

At the request of many, Mrs. Fee agreed to 
address the people that night in the school-house. 
A large crowd assembled ; and while she was 
talking, the cries of the penitent sinners became 
so loud that her voice was well-nigh drowned. 
Many sought Christ that evening and found him. 

Riplky District. 


The quarterly-meeting closed. A circuit of 
four appointments was formed, and the societies 
duly organized, each with a good Sunday-school, 
having in all about four hundred scholars, with 
more than three hundred members. A Board of 
Trustees was chosen, and arrangements made' for 
the erection of a memorial church on the old site. 
All this was accomplished in about five months, 
through the labors of a young man who had 
preached only one sermon before he went there. 
O that Jesse P. Berry had remained in the minis- 
try ! For years he has been the editor of a news- 
paper in Adams County. 

The work did not stop with the quarterly- 
meeting, and to-day all that region of country is 
blest with organized Churches, Sunday-schools, 
prayer-meetings, and class meetings; and a beau- 
tiful church, costing more than two thousand dol- 
lers, now graces the spot upon which Moore's 
Chapel formerly stood. 

A. D. Singer has been for years a traveling 
preacher, true to God and to his work. Hundreds 
of souls have been converted through his instru- 
mentality. As a token of regard for me, one of 
his children bears my humble name. 

My work on the Ripley District was the most 
trying of my life. It demanded the sacrifice 
almost of the endearments of home and the so- 
ciety of my family, while I was exposed to all 
kinds of weather and constant change of location 
and food. Besides this, I had the care of all the 
Churches of the district. The situation was not 


6io Bringing the Sheaves. 

only one of great difficulty, but of great delicacy. 
Many of the ministers of the Conference dreaded 
the idea of going into it because of the hard work 
they had to perforin and the limited salary they 
would receive. None, I am satisfied, ever had a 
more severe time than myself. I was not in debt 
one dollar when I came to the district, and my 
first year involved me in a debt of five hundred 
dollars. Beyond my support, I never asked for a 
salary, and, considering expenses, no preacher on 
the district received a smaller amount than myself. 

The Conference of 1879 met at Urbana, Bishop 
Simpson presiding. I knew the bishop well, and 
loved him as I have seldom loved any man. At 
this Conference the election of delegates to the 
General Conference was to take place. I had 
little ambition to have my name used as such a 
candidate, and did not permit any of my preachers 
to converse with me on the subject. If they did 
press the matter upon me, I said: "No, I am 
not a candidate. Do not vote for me. Vote for 
somebody that wants the place and is qualified 
for it." 

On the first ballot, John M. Walden and William 
Iv. Hypes were elected. To my surprise, I re- 
ceived thirty-seven votes. I regarded this merely 
as complimentary from a few special friends on 
my district and elsewhere, and paid no attention 
to it. A number were far in advance of me ; but 
on the next ballot I gained a number of votes. 
This surprised me; but one of my brethren was 
running far ahead of me, and I supposed he 

Ripley District. 6ii 

would be elected. On the next ballot Charles H. 
Payne was elected, leaving but one to be chosen. 
There was a fourth ballot, and I ran up to about 
sixty. This surprised me more and more. There 
was another ballot, and I ran up to seventy-four; 
and on the sixth ballot I received about one 
hundred votes. This to me was the greatest sur- 
prise of my life. There was a majority of about 
twenty-five votes. The one who was running 
against me was the lamented S. A. Brewster. 
When my election was announced, he was among 
the loudest to cheer me; and Bishop Simpson 
said: "That is the most noble thing I ever knew 
a man to do." 

I began my work for the third year on Ripley 
District in better health and spirits than I had pre- 
viously enjoyed. Peace was returning to the dis- 
trict, which had been seriously disturbed from the 
beginning of the war until then, caused by polit- 
ical issues. For two years I had labored to har- 
monize as far as possible the disturbing elements, 
and success crowned the effort. 

The General Conference of 1880 met in Cincin- 
nati in Pike's Opera-house. For the first time I 
found myself a member of that great body, the great- 
est ecclesiastical organization in the United States. 
I was appointed on the Committees on Revisals, 
Church Extension, and Temperance. I spent, 
when the Conference was not in session, much of 
my time with these committees, and labored in 
my humble way on all subjects requiring attention, 
to do all I could as a representative of the Cincin- 


Bringing the: Sheaves. 

nati Conference. What was done by the General 
Conference needs not here to be mentioned. 

It was my privilege, by the appointment of 
Bishop Simpson, to conduct the religions service 
of the last session of Conference. I did this with 
humble reliance upon God, and with a sincere 
prayer that the interests of the great Church of 
which I was a humble minister, as well as the in- 
terests of the world, should receive the benediction 
of the great Head of the Church. 

As my district was in the vicinity of Cincinnati, 
the care of it was constantly on my mind. The 
General Conference had far less charms for me 
than the work in which I was then engaged. 
From that day to this I have had no desire to be 
elected as a delegate to the General Conference. I 
have found my happiness in my pastoral work, 
amid the scenes of revival, where souls are being 
born into the kingdom. 

My third year's work on the district was gen- 
erally prosperous. The district was well managed, 
and I had little cause for complaint, only my heart 
panted for the pastoral work. 

The next Conference met at Middletown, Ohio, 
September i, 1880, Bishop Jesse T. Peck presid- 
ing. During this Conference a proposition was 
made to remove me from the district, and place me 
in one of the Churches of Springfield; but the 
preachers, having learned this, united in a hearty 
protest against it, and the project was given up; 
otherwise I should have been out of the eldership, 
and released from its oppressing duties. 

Ripl,ky District. 


My father, and my brother Arthur M. Fee, died 
during my third year on the district. My 'brother 
triumphed to the last moment. Just before his 
death, he looked up with a pleased smile on his 
face, and said : 

"They are coming, coming! Do n't you see 
them ?" 

"To whom do you refer ?" I asked. 

He replied: "My wife and departed children, 
and my father and mother, and the angels. They 
are coming, they are coining ! Do n't you see 

I said, " No." 

He turned to me with surprise, and said: 
"They have come. Look!" and breathed his last. 
The fitful dream of life was o'er, earth was ex- 
changed for heaven. 

I began my labors on Ripley District, for the 
fourth year, under the most favorable auspices. 
Two charges had been added to the district. I 
began to recover from the weight of indebtedness 
which rested upon me. The preachers seemed 
happy in their work. It was to be my last year 
upon the district. 

My labors on the district were marked by the 
evidence of Divine approbation. At all my quar- 
terly-meetings there was the presence, more or less, 
of the Divine Spirit. On Sundays, at the eleven 
o'clock service, as many as fifty or sixty would 
sometimes rise for prayer, and at night the altar 
would be crowded. 


NATI. 1881-1887. 

AT the Conference which met in Springfield, 
1 88 1, Bishop Wiley appointed me to South 
Charleston, twelve miles from Springfield. I soon 
learned that this appointment was not a bed of 
roses. While it had many elements of strength 
financially and religiously, there were several dis- 
couraging circumstances. There was trouble which 
would not down ; a want of unity and fellowship, 
which is so necessary to the peace and harmony 
of the Church. Again, the church-building was 
neither convenient nor pleasant. It had had its 
day, and had done a good work; but it failed to 
meet the demands of the present time. 

Some of the most noble men and women of 
Methodism resided there. The Davidsons were 
there. Mother Davidson had been a pioneer of 
Methodism in that country, and to her, next to 
God, the Church was mostly indebted for its exist- 
ence. Brother Truitt and Thomas Wooseley for 
many years had been leaders in the Church and 
community. Brother and Sister Holmes were ear- 
nest workers in the Sunday-school. William Fer- 
rard and his family were among my warm friends 
and helpers. Father and Mother Murray had done 
efficient work in the vicinity of the town. L,. W. 

South Charleston. 


Haughey, the banker, also did a noble work, not 
only with his money, bnt by his example. One of 
my classmates in the ministry, Chas. B. Warring- 
ton, had married the daughter of Mother Davidson. 
He was attacked with small-pox, and filled an 
early grave. He was the father of two distin- 
guished lawyers of Cincinnati, John W. Warring- 
ton and his brother. Another daughter of Mother 
Davidson was united in marriage to Wesley Web- 
ster, who entered the Ohio Conference in the 
year 1842, and who finally failed in health, and 
settled in South Charleston. He was there at the 
time of my arrival, and with his wife gave me a 
cordial welcome. He was a strong preacher, a 
rigid disciplinarian, a man of unflinching integrity, 
a strong anti-slavery man, and an uncompromis- 
ing temperance man. There was no flexibility 
about him. He was greatly interested in missions 
and in the matter of Christian education, and was 
very liberal in his benefactions. He died, Septem- 
ber 25, 1895, and the Conference class of 1842, as 
I now remember, has but one member living be- 
sides myself. Absalom Griffith and his brother, 
Silas, were most active and useful laborers in the 
Church there. There were also James Pugsley, 
William Brown, Squire Taft, the venerable Thomas 
Sweet and family, John M. Murray and wife, Brother 
Landaker, and Brother Buzzard. 

Properly united and filled with the Spirit of 
Jesus, the Church would have been a power for 
good; but the want of brotherly love was too ap- 
parent to be concealed. I prayed night and day 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

that God would give me wisdom and grace to do 
my duty. I investigated quietly all the matters 
connected with the Church, and consulted freely 
with my presiding elder, Samuel A. Brewster. He 
said: " It is the hardest problem to solve I ever at- 
tempted. A general revival would solve the ques- 
tion; but how are you going to get up the re- 

I began to preach plainly, but kindly. I visited 
from house to house, talked with the members, 
prayed with them, and endeavored to do my duty 
impartially. I was received very kindly by the peo- 
ple generally, and had no reason to complain on per- 
sonal grounds ; but O, how difficult it was to make 
an impression on the parties who were the most 
deeply involved in the trouble ! They regarded a 
revival of religion as out of the question until mat- 
ters were settled, and were amazed at the tenacity 
with which I clung to the idea that God would, in 
answer to the prayers of sincere believers, vindicate 
their devotion and answer their prayers. 

Signs of good began to appear. The first con- 
verts were not very promising subjects, and our 
work was ridiculed ; but none of these things moved 
me. We went forward, and the Church began to 
awaken ; sinners were convicted, seekers were con- 
verted, backsliders were reclaimed, the congrega- 
tions grew in numbers, until our house was well 
filled, and the country round about was awakened. 

Near the close of one of our meetings, those 
who desired the prayers of the Church were in- 
vited to hold up their hands. A number of hands 

South Charleston. 617 

went up, among them one which I could see, but 
I could not see the person who held it up. This 
seemed strange to me, and I inquired the reason, 
when I found that it was the hand of a colored 
man who was ashamed to be seen among white 

The next day he was at work in his field, dig- 
ging a ditch, and was down in the ditch three feet 
deep. He was praying for mercy, for he felt that 
he was lost; and, to use his own expression, was 
so near the pit that he could " see hell at white 
heat." All at once deliverance came, and he ran 
to see Mr. Murray, whom he found in his barn, 
and said: 

"O, Mr. Murray, come here, come here! I am 
saved from the horrible pit and the miry clay, and 
a new song is put into my mouth!" and he began 
to praise God. 

For weeks after this he went all over that coun- 
try, talking to everybody of the wondrous grace 
which had saved him. 

The work went on until more than one hun- 
dred souls were converted to God, and the spirit of 
brotherly love was greatly increased ; but the main 
difficulty still remained uncured. I sought to be 
patient; and yet I longed for unity, and prayed 
over the matter almost daily. The trouble lay be- 
tween two prominent and intelligent men. One 
day one of them said to me, 

"This matter must be settled." 

"What will settle it?" I asked. 

He then told me just what he thought the 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

other party ought to do. I requested him to put 
it down in writing, which he did. I thought the 
proposition rather a liberal one. That afternoon 
I wrote a letter to the other, informing him that I 
was very anxious to see the matter settled for 
their sake, the sake of their families, and for the 
peace of the Church; and, if I might be permit- 
ted to approach him on the subject, I would like 
to know upon what terms. In reply I received 
from him a very kind letter, and with it a propo- 
sition almost identical with the one that had been 
made by the other. When these propositions 
were exchanged, they were mutually astonished 
to find that they had gotten together almost be- 
fore they knew it, and remarked that they could 
not see how it was done. I saw in it the hand of 

On the next Wednesday evening they met at 
the prayer-meeting, and publicly expressed their 
willingness to be friends; and the matter ended. 

I had three revival-meetings during my pas- 
torate, which continued three years. In the midst 
of one of these, I was attacked by a severe cold, 
and became so hoarse that I was unable to speak. 
The members were greatly concerned about it, 
and were anxious that I should send for help. I 
did not feel free to do this; and told them the 
visitation was a providential one, and, under like 
circumstances, God had sent me the very help I 
needed, and I believed he would do so in this in- 
stance. On Wednesday I told them this; and on 
that day I met a brother who was somewhat 

South Charleston. 619 

doubtful about the work. I was on one side of 
the scene, and he on the other. He asked, "How 
are you getting along?" I could not speak loud 
enough to be heard; but I pointed up and shook 
my hand heavenward. Saturday afternoon came, 
and Saturday night, and there was no help. The 
brethren visited me, and inquired if I had re- 
ceived any promise of help. I answered: "None; 
but God will send me help in time, and my faith 
will be vindicated." 

They thought me fanatical; and my wife was 
amazed that I should exercise such faith under 
such circumstances. Eight o'clock came; the 
rain was pouring down almost in torrents when 
the door-bell rang. I said, "There is my help." 
When I went to the door, a tall, noble-looking 
gentleman, of dark complexion, stood before me. 

"Are you the pastor of this Church?" he 

"I am," I replied. 

"I have called to see you. I shall spend two 
or three days at the hotel, across the way, and I 
thought I would worship with you to-morrow." 

Said I, "God sent you here to help me." 

"Why do you think so?" he inquired. 

"I have had the assurance of it in answer to 
prayer. I am too ill to labor myself." 

He took a document out of his pocket; and I 
found that he was a regularly ordained minister 
of the Baptist Church, of Indian Territory. His 
Indian name was Tallemasmeco, which translated 
means, "King of the Forest." He was a Semi- 


Bringing tiik Sheaves. 

nole chief, born among the everglades of Florida. 
He was converted, and removed to the Indian 
Territory, where for many years he had been a 
preacher among the Indians. He kindly con- 
sented to preach for me; and the news went 
abroad that an Indian would preach, and the 
church was filled. He began to speak with a 
strange eloquence which I have heard but seldom 
during my life. A holy unction attended him. 
Almost every one in the congregation was bathed 
in tears while for one hour he spoke. 

This convinced the people that God had fully 
vindicated my faith, and the idea that he should 
send one from the Indian Territory was wonderful. 
He remained with me for two weeks, preaching 
almost every night, to the delight and profit of all 
who heard him. 

I have never seen him since; but he lives in 
my memory and in the love of my heart. He 
gave me a better insight into the meaning of 
many Indian customs and manners than I had 
ever received before. In their corn-feasts, which 
were held once a year, all difficulties and misun- 
derstandings were settled; if not, the parties 
thereto were banished from the feast, which they 
considered one of the greatest punishments that 
could be inflicted upon them. What a lesson for 
Christians who indulge unkind and malignant feel- 
ings toward each other ! 

During the year my daughter, Jennie K. Fee, 
was united in marriage to Mr. Harrie N. Wiles, a 
merchant of Ripley, Ohio ; and my son, Joseph 

York Strket, Cincinnati. 621 

Arthur Fee, was united in marriage to Miss Flor- 
ence Kwell, of Cincinnati, Ohio, daughter of 
Rev. W. H. S. Ewell, an old resident of the city. 
These unions have proved most happy. 

The Conference of 1884 met at Hillsboro, Sep- 
tember 3d. Bishop S. M. Merrill presided. 

York Street, Cincinnati, had been an important 
point in Cincinnati Methodism. The field was a 
wide and hopeful one for many years; but a change 
had come. The Rev. Frank G. Mitchell had 
served the Church for three years, which embraced 
the period of the two great floods at Cincinnati in 
1883 an d 1884. No man did more to relieve the 
sufferings of the people during this period than did 
Brother Mitchell. He was a faithful pastor ; did 
his work systematically and well. An embarrass- 
ing Church debt was paid by his persistent and 
faithful effort, and he left the Church practically 
free from debt. During the latter part of his third 
year an unusual number of his members moved 
from the city. They became afflicted with that 
disease, which I will name " the suburban fever," 
so fatal to many of the Methodist and other Prot- 
estant Churches in Cincinnati. With York Street 
it was almost epidemic. More than seven hun- 
dred dollars of its past support was taken from it 
at the close of this year. 

The Official Board felt that a crisis had arrived 
in their history; and came to the conclusion that 
perhaps I was the man for the crisis, and I was ac- 
cordingly appointed to the charge. I went to it 
with a deep sense of my need of Divine help ; for 


Bringing the Sheavks. 

something more than human power would be nec- 
essary to meet the discouragements which would 
surround me at the beginning of my pastorate. 

My first Sabbath was spent at the hospitable 
residence of that devoted man of God, Dr. Burwell 
P. Goode, and his excellent wife. Theirs was a 
model family. The doctor at once told me the 
situation. Said he: "It grieves me to say that 
we are able to give you but thirteen hundred dol- 
lars, including house-rent." 

I replied: "Say nothing about that." 

Said he, " I am ashamed of it." 

"You ought not to be," I replied, "since it is 
the best you can do." 

"But," said he, "suppose we go below that?" 

I replied: " Doctor, if you sink to the bottom, 
I will go down with you as cheerfully as any man 
you ever saw. L,et us pray and work to make the 
situation better than it is ; and we may pull 
through after all, and the result under God may 
be better than we hope." 

I began my work in earnest. Following in the 
footsteps of my predecessor, I visited everywhere, 
and became familiar with the members, and out- 
siders as well. 

The first Quarterly Conference came. William 
Iy. Hypes was my presiding elder, and sympa- 
thized deeply with me in my work. It was a 
mournful Quarterly Conference. The loss of seven 
hundred dollars in a few weeks for pastoral sup- 
port was something for which the members were 
not prepared. But I preached and prayed, and 

York Street, Cincinnati. 623 

looked to the Lord, urging upon the members a 
thorough consecration to God and a more earnest 
devotion to the work of saving souls. 

In a few weeks I felt impressed to preach a 
sermon to the children, and I thought that through 
the children I might reach those who were older. 
I had a large congregation, and a very gracious 
influence pervaded the minds of the children and 
others; beyond this, nothing was apparently gained. 

Early in the afternoon, Mr. Henry Daganer 
came to see me. He was one of the most saintly 
men in Cincinnati, having the confidence of every 
one who knew him ; and the young and the aged 
loved him. He was the friend of the preachers and 
true to Christ and his cause. Said he : 

"There is a matter which I thought I ought to 
name to you at once. I have just returned from 
Brother R.'s, where I dined to-day. His son-in-law, 
George, was not at dinner, and we wondered where 
he was. Search was made for him; and when 
they went into the third story of their residence, 
they heard his voice, and found him kneeling be- 
fore God as a broken-hearted penitent ; and he re- 
fused to come to dinner. I prayed with him and 
pointed him to Christ. He said he never was so 
convicted of sin under any preacher as he was 
under your sermon to the children. It was so 
plain, so simple, that it went to his heart. I be- 
lieve that he will be converted, and that this is the 
beginning of better days." 

When night came, I invited seekers to the 
altar ; and George and two other members of the 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

family came, and others besides. George was 
happily converted that night, and a number united 
with the Church. It was a surprise to all. And 
they said: "We never dreamed of these persons 
being reached. God is better to us than we feared." 

In this way the work went on. Gradually 
Church letters began to come in from members 
who had withheld them ; and persons who at- 
tended Church regularly, but were not members 
of it, united with us on probation. The Sunday- 
school felt the touch of the Divine Spirit, and 
teachers and official members were brought more 
closely together, and became more hopeful. Fi- 
nances were in a better condition. The suburban 
fever was somewhat abated ; and during my pastor- 
ate we lost but few members, and gained a large 
number. Persons took part in the services who 
had not been known to do so previously ; and as 
they did so, their courage increased more and 
more, until we found ourselves drawn more closely 
together and in sweeter harmony than before. A 
large number of persons began to attend the serv- 
ices who had not been in the habit of doing so 
previously. Class-meetings, prayer-meetings, and 
indeed all the services, were more largely attended, 
and a class of persons who promised to add more 
than the usual strength to the Church were in 
regular attendance. 

B. H. Cox, the Sunday-school lay evangelist, 
labored in that part of the city for weeks to bring 
a class of children to the Sunday-school who were 
not connected with any school. He did heroic 

York Street, Cincinnati. 625 

work; and if the Church had supplemented his 
labors as they should have done, the effect of 
his work would have been seen to-day. More 
than seven hundred scholars were present at one 
time, until there was little room in any part of 
the church. 

I labored to be steady and constant in my work, 
to be the servant of all, to seek rather the appro- 
bation of God and the salvation of souls than to 
secure a public reputation, either in the Church or 

One day a gentleman called at my house and 
informed me that he had lived but a short time in 
Cincinnati ; that he was a married man, and his 
wife was a devoted Christian, while he was not; 
but that he had the highest respect for Christianity, 
and desired that his wife, who was a stranger in 
the city, should enjoy the advantages of Church 
fellowship and the society of religious people. 
They were within the boundaries of York Street 
congregation. He was a graduate of the Ohio Wes- 
leyan University, a lawyer by profession, and had 
an office in the city. He desired me to call to see 
his wife at my earliest convenience. I did so, and 
found her to be a most interesting lady. She was 
a lover of the Church and of good people. At the 
first opportunity she united with my Church by 
letter, and was most cordially received by the 
ladies of the Church ; and her husband met with 
the warmest reception from the men of the con- 
gregation. A few months afterwards he united 
with the Church on probation, and, I believe, " found 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

the pearl of great price," and became at once a 
member of great prominence in the congregation. 
To the regret of all, he removed to Findlay, O., 
and became a prominent leader in the develop- 
ment of that city, and in the erection of a new 

From that time we were warm personal friends, 
and for him and his excellent wife I have a most 
grateful remembrance and the warmest Christian 
affection. He is now widely known in the State 
of Ohio as the Hon. Thomas H. McConica, having 
served two or three terms as a member of the 
Senate of the State of Ohio. He recently pre- 
sided over the "Ladies' Convention" of the Cen- 
tral Ohio Conference. Would that all husbands 
who are not Christians felt the same interest in 
the religious advancement of their wives, and as 
cheerfully followed their example as did Mr. Mc- 
Conica ! It was my privilege to dedicate their old- 
est child in holy baptism some years since. 

A number of cards, with names, residences, 
and occupations of persons who had promised, 
in the large evangelistic meetings held in Music 
Hall by the well-known Sam P. Jones, to give 
themselves to Christ, were placed in my hands. I 
visited every one of these as soon as I possibly 
could find them, no matter how much labor it cost 
me. I became interested in the families, and did 
all I could to save them. They were scattered 
all over the western part of the city. Many of 
them became members of York Street Church 
and other Churches in their vicinity. 

York Street, Cincinnati. 627 


In the month of October, in the second year of 
my pastorate at York Street, I began to think that 
my work in the ministry must soon close. I had 
given up all my early aims, and devoted myself to 
the work of the ministry. I had coveted no man's 
silver or gold, and loved my work more than 
money. I was economical in my habits. We had 
been able to save a little money years before. I 
had taken out a life insurance policy in a New 
York company, and had paid out several hundred 
dollars ; but the company failed, and could not 
repay. I had loaned money to several parties; 
but they all failed save one, and I lost all. 

I had sung for many years the words of John 
Wesley, — 

" No foot of land do I possess, 
No cottage in the wilderness." 

But in the year 1885 I bought a lot, with a build- 
ing of little value on it. I received from my 
father's estate a small amount. This, with the 
small amount I had saved, I invested in the lot 
which I purchased in Piqua, Ohio. I was endeav- 
oring to make the last payment on this lot. We 
sought, if possible, to become the possessors of 
a place which we could call our own. Providence 
favored me in this, and a short time after the be- 
ginning of my second year at York Street, the last 
payment was made, and I had a place for the soles 
of my feet ; but no house was erected on it, and I 
had in prospect no means to build one. 

628 Bringing the: Sheaves. 

Everything was dark around me, and trie enemy 
of souls came and endeavored to persuade me that 
God's promises had failed, and that my faith was 
fanatical ; that I was doomed, probably to die in a 
poor-house. So dark was the prospect that there 
was not one ray of hope. At last I said, " If it be 
God's will, I can spend the remainder of my life in 
such a place as that; for it would be better than 
that occupied by the Loid Jesus Christ when he 
was upon earth." 

My faith now triumphed. Peace and rest with 
assurance came back to my soul, and this terrible 
temptation, which had beset me occasionally for so 
many years, never returned. I felt assured that 
there was deliverance for me, but knew not how it 
was to come, nor where to look for it. My cir- 
cumstances I never mentioned to. any human being 
during this trial. 

About six or eight months after this, the ladies 
of my Church, under the supervision of Mrs. W. M. 
Ampt and others, gave a Church entertainment, 
and called it "A Rainbow Social." I was requested 
again and again to be present, until the repeated 
invitations became almost painful, inasmuch as I 
had promised to be there. I was very busy, and 
took very little, if any, interest in it. 

On the evening of the entertainment I was sent 
for. I went, and, to my perfect surprise, I found 
that the most elaborate preparations had been 
made, exhibiting exquisite taste and refinement. 
Ministers, and others from all parts of the city 
were present, and the house was filled. I was re- 

York Street, Cincinnati. 629 

quested to be seated on the platform, in the most 
prominent place. I took the position for a few 
moments, and then left it to greet some friends in 
the audience, but was immediately taken back 
again to the same place, when Mrs. Ampt arose, 
and very graciously and touchingly addressed me. 
She said : 

" Some months ago I was in conversation with 
Mrs. Fee, and I asked her why she worked so hard. 
She then told me that you are making an effort to 
pay for a lot in Piqua, Ohio, on which you hoped 
some day to erect a home, where you might rest in 
your old age. After this, with my husband, I went 
abroad, and was absent for months. We had lost a 
dear daughter, our only child, and my heart was 
well-nigh broken. Inasmuch as you and your wife 
had sympathized with us and prayed so earnestly 
with us, I can not forget you, and I thought of 
you often during our absence. 

"On our return, in October, a fearful storm arose, 
and there was every prospect that the vessel would 
go to the bottom, and we would find a watery 
grave. I said to myself: 'All my earthly hopes 
are blighted ; I have nothing to live for but my 
husband ; I can not see that I can any longer be a 
blessing to the Church or humanity at large ; and 
if it be God's will that we be lost, it will be blessed 
to depart and be with Christ.' 

" You and your dear wife came before me — it 
almost seemed a reality. I thought of your kind- 
ness to me and mine, and of your devotion to the 
Church and to the cause of religion, and something 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

spoke to my very heart, and said : ' It is your duty 
never to rest until they have a home on the lot 
they have purchased in Piqua, in which they may 
rest when their active toils in the ministry have 
ceased.' I then and there made a solemn promise 
to God and myself that I would not rest until this 
object was attained, and from then until now I 
have been laboring in a humble way to bring 
about this result, and in its interest this meeting 
has been called.' , 

Holding up a well-filled purse, she said : 

" Here is the first installment of two Lutheran 
friends, who entertain for you the very kindest 
feelings. " Then she presented a well-filled en- 
velope, saying as she did so : " Here is another 
token from a number of Presbyterian friends, who 
appreciate your labors and love you for your work." 
She presented at the same time gifts from persons 
of almost every denomination. She paused, and 
I was about to retire, when she said : " Stay; when 
the ship comes in, there will be more." 

I then heard young voices from the lecture- 
room, and the patter of little footsteps, as a num- 
ber of children came up the stairway, singing. 
When they reached the door they were preceded 
by four boys carrying upon their shoulders a mimic 
ship. They entered the floral arch erected be- 
tween the pulpit and the door, and came forward, 
while twenty or more children sang, " Bringing in 
the sheaves." 

The amount which the mimic ship contained, 
with that of the other donations, must have been 

York Street, Cincinnati. 631 

at least five hundred dollars. The people wept 
all through the audience. I never was so surprised 
in my life, and I concealed myself in a private 
room, where, upon my knees before God, I wept 
and acknowledged his kindness to me, as I had 
never done before. 

Another meeting was held, at which Bishop 
Joyce presided. In commemoration of my many 
years of service in the ministry, Bishop Joyce 
made a most touching address, as did Dr. T. H. 
Pearne, C. W. Rowland, and others. This meeting 
was under the supervision, mainly, of Mr. T. J. 
Davis, S. h. Snodgrass, Dr. B. P. Goode, and R. T. 
Morris, who, with the young men under his super- 
vision, presented me with a handsome testimonial 
in money. Donations came from North, South } 
Bast, and West. My friends in the various States 1 
heard of the proposition, and remembered me 
handsomely. Presbyterians, Catholics, Episcopa- 
lians, and those who were not members of any 
Church, joined together in presenting me with 
valuable donations, until the amount was about 
fifteen hundred dollars. 

I then begged Mrs. Ampt to desist, and to make 
no further effort in my behalf, for I had the faith 
that, in some way or other, the object of my 
hopes would be secured. The residence has been 
erected — a comfortable building — at a greater cost 
than was anticipated, and a better building than I 
would have erected. It stands on one of the most 
pleasant streets of the city, near the church and 
other places of resort. In this delightful residence 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

I dictate this account to a stenographer, for pub- 
lication in this volume. It stands as a monu- 
ment of the love of cherished friends ; but above 
all, as a monument of God's fidelity to me for the 
fulfillment of his promises. 

York Street and its people, together with the 
friends who aided them, will always have the 
warmest love and gratitude of my heart. 


PIQUA. 1887-1892. 

AFTER completing my pastorate of three years 
in York Street, I attended the Conference at 
Mechanicsburg, Ohio, August 3, 1887, Bishop An- 
drews presiding, ready to receive another appoint- 
ment. My presiding elder, Charles W. Ketcham, 
of the Cincinnati District, said nothing to me as to 
my appointment. When the appointments were 
read out, my name was announced for McKendree 
charge, on Eastern Avenue, Cincinnati. It was one 
of the oldest, and at that time about the hardest 
in the Conference. It was doubtful whether the 
people of that charge would receive any preacher. 
Their former church edifice had been burned, and 
by the merest good fortune there was an insurance 
on it of five thousand dollars. This enabled them 
to rebuild on the present site, but they were 
involved deeply in debt. They were depending 
upon a legacy, which they hoped to receive, of five 
thousand dollars, but which in the end amounted 
to nothing. 

The members were disheartened, and there was 
little hope of doing any good. I never knew why 
I was appointed to this charge ; I never sought to 
know. God permitted it, and I received it as from 


634 Bringing thk Sheaves. 

his hands. By the leading members of the Con- 
ference the appointment was regarded as a mis- 
take, in view of my health and the forlorn prospect 
before me. It was a great surprise, but with the 
surprise came a new inspiration and assurance that 
God would be with me and sustain me. 

In due time I visited the place, rented a house, 
and began my labors. The most pleasing feature 
about my appointment was that Dr. George W. 
Prugh, whom I had received into the Methodist 
Church in Piqua, and who had lived in my family 
while a medical student when I was stationed at 
Wesley Chapel, Cincinnati, was the leading mem- 
ber of the charge. I knew him, and loved him as 
I have seldom loved any man. He received me 
as a brother, and from then until now has treated 
me with all the affection with which a son could 
treat a father. 

I had before me two years of toil, and I began 
at once to make provision for the payment of the 
interest accrued on the debt. It was almost' a 
thankless task, and what I did was for Christ's 
sake. The congregations were small, and the 
prayer-meetings and class-meetings were but thinly 
attended ; but the Sunday-school was in a better 
condition. Many were estranged from the Church 
for various reasons, and these must be visited and 
labored with, and brought back if possible. There 
were many poor and many sick to be visited. The 
membership, which at this time amounted to about 
two hundred, resided up and down the river for a 
long distance. 

McKkndrkk Church, Cincinnati. 635 

In a month or two the scattered forces were 
brought together, and they became more hopeful ; 
but there were only a few accessions for several 
months. The work of revival was gradual. Some 
valuable additions were made to the Church, a 
number were reclaimed and brought back to their 
former enjoyment, and again took their places in 
the army of the Lord. The Presbyterian Church 
on the one side, and the Disciple on the other, also 
had large ingatherings. 

I went forward in my work steadily, and there 
was a constant improvement. The Official Board 
before the year closed was much changed for the 
better. The financial condition improved, and 
they made an effort to bring up my meager salary 
to what they had estimated it. I made a liberal 
subscription towards it. to aid them, and they were 
able to pay out. 

My return was requested for another year, and the 
members were so unanimous in asking for it, that 
I made up my mind to take it for better, for worse, 
if so determined at Conference. It seemed like a 
new church, and we had great hopes that we would 
succeed in paying the debt. The Conference was 
held at Jamestown, Ohio, September 5, 1888, 
Bishop H. W. Warren presiding. I was returned 
to the charge for a second year, and met with a 
most cordial reception. The revival interest con- 
tinued, and the Church still prospered; but the fatal 
debt was like a mountain in the way of prosperity. 

I had been urged to deliver an address before 
the Cincinnati Preachers' Meeting on the subject 

636 Bringing the Sheaves 

of revivals and my experience in them, but I hesi- 
tated to do this. Finally I was requested to ad- 
dress the ministers and laymen of the Churches on 
Monday morning. There was a crowded congre- 
gation. Charles W. Ketcham presided over the 
meeting. There was a great deal of feeling mani- 
fested, and a deep interest awakened. At the close, 
Dr. Ketcham came to me, with his eyes filled with 
tears, and, with deep emotion, he said: 

" I think I never felt so much of the power 
and presence of the Holy Ghost as there is here in 
this meeting to-day." 

Little did I think, when Dr. Ketcham made the 
remark quoted above, that this was to be his last 
public meeting. He was soon confined to his 
dying-bed. I visited him often during his afflic- 
tion. He passed away in great peace. He rests 
from his labors, and " his works do follow him." 
Dr. Ketcham left two sons, who are now promi- 
nent ministers of the Cincinnati Conference — Mer- 
rick Eugene and Heber Dwight. They are doing 
noble work for the Master. 

John Pearson was appointed to supply the 
vacancy caused by the death of Dr. Ketcham. He 
took a deep interest in my work, and was deeply 
concerned that the Church should, be out of debt. 
He had great faith that, by adopting what was 
called "The Long Roll Plan," it could be ac- 
complished. He spared neither time nor pains, 
and did all he possibly could. While we made 
some progress, the entire amount was not reached, 
and, to our deep regret, the year closed, and left 

McKendree Church, Cincinnati. 637 

the Church in debt ; it was reduced, but not paid. 
The second winter of my pastorate there was a 
hard one. Many of the hillsides were very steep, 
and were covered with ice. To ascend them was a 
work of difficulty and of danger. In making my 
pastoral visits, the wonder is that I was not seri- 
ously injured by falling. The work was so heavy 
that I believed I could not endure the exposure 
and fatigue of climbing these hills and cliffs, and 
I felt that I would have to be removed when the 
year closed. 

L,sl Fayette Van Cleve succeeded me as pastor at 
McKendree the next year. It was a hard field, and 
at the close of the first year he was removed to 
Milford, where he ended his course, regretted by 
those who knew him, in Ohio and Kentucky. 

The following year,' Edward McHugh, who 
had been a former pastor, was sent to the charge. 
He was industrious, and the entire debt was paid. 
Since then McKendree Chapel has enjoyed a pros- 
perity almost phenomenal. No wonder that Brother 
McHugh is now serving his fifth year in that charge 
at the request of the people. 

The next Conference was held in Xenia, Ohio, 
September 4, 1889, Bishop Merrill presiding. On 
my arrival the bishop sent for me, and informed 
me that Brother Mast and the people of Grace 
Church, Springfield, Ohio, were very anxious to 
have me appointed to that Church. The bishop 
came and put his arms around me — for we had 
been friends in our early youth — and said : "I fear 
that it is too much to ask you to do, and yet I feel 

638 Bringing the Sheaves. 

that you are the man for the place just at this 
time, and no one else is likely to do as well." I 
replied, "I am at your service, Bishop; send me, 
and I will go cheerfully." The appointment was 
accordingly made. 

A quarterly-meeting had been appointed for the 
next Sabbath after Conference, at Grace Church, 
•and no preacher was present except myself, and I 
was unknown to the people when I first went in. 
One came in after me, who announced my arrival, 
and invited me to the pulpit, and I spent my first 
Sabbath morning in Grace Church. 

The charge was in its infancy, though a mis- 
sion school had been conducted there for years 
under the auspices of Hon. P. P. Mast. Mr. Mast 
had been superintendent, and by his presence, his 
prayers, and his money, had maintained the Church. 
But for him it would scarcelv have anv existence 

I entered upon my labors with great difficulty. 
The organization was imperfect, and it was difficult, 
with the means we had, to organize a strong and 
efficient official board. Existing difficulties were 
soon harmonized. The city Churches did all they 
could to make my work successful. Persons came 
to seek Christ, and found him. The congrega- 
tions increased, and there were signs of promise on 
every hand. Many invitations came for me to aid 
brethren in their work in revival-meetings, espe- 
cially young ministers. It was not easy to refuse 
them, and it was painful to leave my charge ; but 
the brethren felt that I ought to go. I accepted an 

Grace Church, Springfield. 639 

invitation to visit South Solon, and aid Reuben S. 
McColm in his revival work. We had a good 
meeting, and a number were converted. I was 
also invited to aid Eugene Gaddis, of Price Hill, 
Cincinnati. He had been holding meetings for 
many weeks under many discouragements, and was 
well-nigh worn out, and needed assistance. On 
Sunday night he lay upon the floor, and pleaded 
with God to influence me to come to his aid. I 
had been the friend of his father, and his friend 
from his infancy. When the letter came, it made 
a strange impression upon me, as it did upon my 
wife and daughter. They said: 

"You ought to go, and you must go and help 
that discouraged young man." 

I yielded and went. We held meetings sev- 
eral nights. They had dedicated a beautiful new 
church — a model of its kind — and they supposed 
that God would bless them in this good work, and 
give them a revival. On Friday night I proposed 
that we hold a meeting on Saturday night for the 
benefit of the Sunday-school teachers and officers 
and scholars, and that the entire Church unite 
with them in this work. I told Brother Gaddis 
that I believed the Spirit was often grieved be- 
cause the Church neglected the young and failed 
to lead them to Christ. 

Although it was Saturday night, to the surprise 
of all, we had the most interesting meeting of any 
that had been held during the week. We gave 
ourselves over to prayer. J. C. Harper, a distin- 
guished lawyer, was the superintendent. He was 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

a good man, but had become somewhat discour- 
aged. On Sunday morning, at the hour for school, 
the room was full. Teachers and officers were 
present, and many of the parents. I requested 
them to speak of the interest they felt in the souls 
of those who had been intrusted to their care, as 
Sunday-school officers and teachers. The superin- 
tendent arose, and, in a most penitent manner, con- 
fessed his former want of faith, and his delinquency 
in laboring for the conversion of the children. He 
said : 

" I am most hopeful. I will do better. I be- 
seech every one of you to help, and join with me 
in earnest prayer for the salvation of the children." 

One after another arose, and spoke to the same 
effect, until a subtile influence came down upon us 
all, as soft and gentle as the dews of night. I then 
arose and attempted to speak, but my emotions 
were such that I could scarcely utter a word. I 
finally said : 

"If there is here one soul who is unconverted, 
teacher or scholar, young or old, and who has made 
up his mind to seek Christ, and desires our prayers 
that he may find him, will you just arise and stand 
for a moment?" 

One of the most prominent young men in the 
place, the son of a wealthy and prominent citizen, 
arose and stood weeping. Then, one after an- 
other arose, until there must have been fifty. Such 
a solemn and impressive scene I have seldom wit- 
nessed. I then requested those who were deter- 
mined to seek Christ until they found him, to kneel 

Grace Church, Springfield. 641 

just where they were, and we would kneel with 
them, and point them to Christ. The young man 
who arose first, found Jesus almost at once, and 
was made very happy ; and more than twenty 
arose within the three quarters of an hour, and con- 
fessed to having found the Savior. Twenty-five, 
as I now remember, united with the Church. 

At the regular morning service, and in the 
afternoon there were melting scenes. To the sur- 
prise of everybody, Mr. Scott and his wife, the par- 
ents of the young man who was the first to arise, 
came forward and kneeled at the altar, and were 
converted and united with the Church. Mr. Scott 
had been, perhaps, more liberal in the erection of 
their beautiful church than any other man. 

More than thirty were converted during the 
day and night services, and a great impetus was 
given to the cause. I returned to my charge some- 
what fatigued, but greatly strengthened and en- 
couraged by what I had seen and felt on Price 

One Sunday, while I was preaching in Grace 
Church, Springfield, a prominent lady, who had 
been seeking religion for nineteen years, found 
Christ, and went home praising God along the 
streets. On the very next Sunday, while I was 
preaching, a young man who had led a moral life, 
and had been brought up by pious parents, was 
converted, and, in like manner, a number of others 
found Jesus. This encouraged me to preach more 
fully than I had ever done before a free and full 



Bringing the Sheaves. 

Soon after this, to my great surprise, I received 
a letter from Dr. Rufus D. Black, a member of the 
St. Louis Conference, who had just completed a 
splendid church-building at Sedalia, Mo., costing 
some forty thousand dollars. He was very anxious 
to have a revival of religion; and as I had kneeled 
by his side when he was seeking Christ, he thought 
I could and would be a blessing to him, providing 
I would labor in his Church. He wanted me for 
four weeks, and his offer was a most liberal one. 

The people of my charge were willing that I 
should go, and I released them from all obligations 
to pay my salary for four weeks during my absence. 
They did not ask this ; but it was a simple act of 
justice. We took this long journey, reaching Se- 
dalia in safety; and on the first Sabbath I began 
my labors, supposing 1 would be a complete stran- 
ger to all save Dr. Black ; but, to my surprise, I 
met there sons and daughters in the gospel, who 
had been converted under my ministry years 
before in the State of Ohio, and had been under 
my pastoral care in years gone by. 

My labors were greatly blessed. The people 
flocked to the church, and it was generally full. 
All denominations took a deep interest in it, and 
many were converted. The most nattering ac- 
counts of the meetings were given in the daily 
papers of Sedalia and St. Louis. Many were con- 
verted to God during our labors there whom I ex- 
pect to meet when the toil of life is over. 

They begged earnestly for me to remain longer; 
and if unparalleled liberality in the offers made 

Grack Church, Piqua. 


me could have controlled, their generous propo- 
sition would have held me ; but my charge would 
not release me, and I returned. 

My second year at Grace Church was one of 
much discouragement. Most of my members 
were engaged in the factories of Springfield. 
Some of these closed; positions were lost, and 
the wages were so reduced as to give the em- 
ployees scarcely a sustenance. There were some 
removals ; and while the Church grew in spiritu- 
ality, it was losing in financial ability. 

Hon. P. P. Mast, to whom that Church is in- 
debted for its very existence, stood by me nobly 
with his prayers and his presence in the Sunday- 
school and his money ; and yet the charge was not 
able to meet my salary. For me to remain longer 
would be a heavy burden for them ; and while I 
made no request for my removal, I knew that it 
was necessary for their interests. 

The Conference of 1891 was held at Urbana. 
Bishop Foster presided. My appointment to Grace 
Church, Piqua, was thought to be wise; and I was 
sent there. The first Sunday after Conference I 
was in my charge, and preached morning and 
evening. I was kindly received, and entered upon 
my fiftieth year's labor. I had been pastor of the 
Greene Street Church previous to this, and I was 
well acquainted with the people of Piqua. The 
Church was out of debt, save on the parsonage. 
This was paid before the year closed. A nobler 
band of young people can not be found than 
those who compose the Epworth league of Grace 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

Church. They are united, self-sacrificing, and 
always loyal to the pastor and every interest of 
the Church. 

The great want of this Church had been a deep, 
constant spiritual work and experience. This I 
labored to promote; and, in a short time, sinners 
were awakened and converted. A number united 
with the Church. I visited from house to house, 
looking after the "lost sheep of the house of 
Israel." Those who had belonged to the Church 
in other places and had removed to Piqua, but had 
not identified themselves with any Church, were 
called upon. ; and many of them were brought into 
proper Church relationship. 

I began revival-meetings, although just recov- 
ering from an attack of the grippe. Providen- 
tially, Rev. John F. Naugle came to see me, and 
remained for three weeks or more. He did us 
good service, and a gracious revival began. We 
were invited by Edward T. Wells to unite with 
Greene Street congregation, and hold meetings to- 
gether ; which we did, with very blessed results. 
When we were well under way, by previous ap- 
pointment, a union revival-meeting was held, 
under the leadership of C. H. Potter, of Cleveland, 
Ohio, a gentleman of deep piety, earnest, devoted, 
conscientious, and fearless ; and the impression of 
his labor will long be felt in Piqua. I regretted to 
give up so promising a revival-meeting as we had 
on hand at the time; but I believed then, and 
believe now, that under all the circumstances it 
was best. 

Grace Church, Pipua. 


Grace Church was able, to a very considerable 
extent, to utilize the revival at the union meeting ; 
and a large number were brought into the Church. 
I did my utmost to make it a blessing to them, and 
I think it was. 

When the spring opened, my sight was failing, 
owing to a cataract on each eye, so that I was 
seriously embarrassed in my work, and compelled 
to submit to an operation. This was repeated so 
often that I came to the conclusion that I must 
abandon my regular pastoral work. 

The members for the most part sympathized 
with me, and stood by me. None acted more 
nobly than did Mr. I. S. Morris, editor of the 
Call and the Miami Helmet. His friendship and 
nobility of soul, his piety and usefulness, deserve 
my deepest gratitude and my highest commen- 
dation. I know God will reward him for all his 
kindness to me. Mr. David Statler also, and his 
noble wife, were true to the last in giving me their 
sympathy and their prayers. Many others I could 
mention; but space will not allow. At the close 
of my fiftieth year's labor in the pastorate, the 
Bpworth L,eague of my Church celebrated the 
event by presenting me with a beautiful gold- 
headed cane, with appropriate engraving, intended 
to commemorate my work, and giving me a me- 
mento of their appreciation of my humble services. 

Through Charles W. Bennett, superintendent of 
the public schools in the city, I was presented 
publicly with $50 in gold. I received from the 
Protestant ministers of Piqua the assurance of 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

their sympathy; and as I meet them now, I regard 
them as brothers beloved in the kingdom and 
patience of Jesns Christ. 

Piqna is my home ; and to its citizens generally 
I am greatly indebted for many courtesies and acts 
of friendship. My pastoral work is done. A 
new era dawns upon me; and I glide without 
any friction from the one to the other. 



THE Hopewell Church was the third Methodist 
Episcopal Church edifice erected in the North- 
west Territory. It was built in 1803. For the 
time, it was a commodious building. I think it 
was thirty-five feet by forty-five feet constructed of 
hewed logs, and the spaces between the logs were 
chinked and plastered with mortar. It was two 
stories high. The roof was shingled, which was 
unusual, and the shingles Avere fastened down 
with wooden pegs instead of nails. The ceiling, 
I should judge, of the lower part, must have been 
about twelve feet high, and the upper about ten. 
The pulpit was large and high. A number of 
steps led to it. The seats were made of plank, 
with backs to them, which was regarded as a great 
improvement. Posts held the gallery and sup- 
ported the building. One door led into the 
church, and it had glass windows. All in all, it, 
to my childish eyes, had a most imposing appear- 
ance. There my great-grandparents, my grand- 
parents, and my parents all worshiped. There 
my parents united with the Methodist Church, and 
there my mother found Christ. 

No building, no matter how costly, no matter 
how majestic in appearance or gorgeously fur- 
nished with all modern appliances that one can 



Bringing the Sheaves. 

conceive, is to me so interesting, nor has it so 
many tender and cherished memories as old Hope- 
well Church. Not a log, not a stone now remains, 
but the dead who once worshiped in it lie buried 
within a few yards of the place where it stood. 
Silence reigns over that city of the dead; but me- 
thinks that the hope of immortal life blooms in 
the grave of every Christian who lies buried there. 
There I was received into full membership in the 
Church of my choice, and am possibly the only 
living man who once attended her services. 

John Pattison, a man of noble presence and 
commanding person, was one of the best speci- 
mens of a Western pioneer. You would mark him 
among a thousand. He was not blessed with any- 
thing more than a meager common-school educa- 
tion, which enabled him to read and write his own 
vernacular; but he was endowed with strong 
mental powers, naturally full of enthusiasm, and 
ready for anything which gave him physical exer- 
cise or mental excitement or pleasure. He was 
born in Washington County, Pennsylvania, March 
15, 1782, and settled with his father's family in 
Bracken County, Kentucky, in 1792. 

His early manhood was spent in dancing, feats 
of strength, and the like. Withal he was eccen- 
tric, and his eccentricities added a charm to his 
character and made him the favorite and leader 
wherever he was. Of all the young men of 
Mason County, Kentucky, he was the least likely 
to become a Christian. 



It so happened that preaching was announced 
on the spot where Germantown, Kentucky, now 
stands. Rev. Alexander Cummins was the min- 
ister who proclaimed to these stalwart Kentuckians 
the glorious gospel, free and full, as taught by 
Wesley and the Methodists. Pattison was among 
the auditors. Of course he was not much im- 
pressed by the preaching, but the wholesome sing- 
ing charmed him. When, at the conclusion of the 
service, all were invited to sing, he, having a beau- 
tiful voice, joined in with a will. His powerful 
notes rose to a pitch and volume which well-nigh 
drowned the voices of the rest of the congregation. 
The preacher was so attracted by the singing and 
the deep earnestness of the singer that he came to 
the conclusion that he must be a Christian, if not 
a minister of the gospel. So, when the hymn was 
concluded, he stepped up to Mr. Pattison, laid his 
hand upon his shoulder, and asked him to con- 
clude the services with prayer. 

By this time most of the congregation were 
upon their knees. So astounded and shocked was 
Mr. Pattison that he fell upon his knees and began 
to cry for mercy with all his might. For hours 
he remained kneeling in the agonies of despair. 
At last God set his soul at liberty, and he sprang 
to his feet and shouted until, as he used to say, he 
was heard two miles distant. He next mounted 
his horse and started for his father's house, full of 
love and heaven. He soon began to shout again, 
and his horse not being familiar with such exer- 
cise, started at the height of his speed for home. 


Bringing Tine Sheaves. 

But Pattison, as he expressed it, shouted "Glory" 
every leap the horse made. 

When he reached home he sprang from his 
horse, and, shouting, ran up-stairs, where he met his 
brother William playing a violin. He caught him 
in his arms; but William, ignorant of what had 
occurred, in terrible affright ran down the stairs 
and into the yard with his happy brother at his 
heels, shouting u Glory and salvation," in un- 
earthly strains. William was soon converted, and 
found the "pearl of great price," and became one 
of the most succesful itinerant ministers. He 
died a member of the old Indiana Conference, 
many years since. John immediately united with 
the despised Methodists, and removed to the vil- 
lage of Augusta, on the Ohio River. 

There were three or four persons besides him- 
self in the village who were called Methodists. 
But they did not command respect, and as he was 
connected with them, he suffered their reproach. 
A little class was soon formed, of which he became 
the leader, and as the town was noted for its wick- 
edness, he became the song of the drunkard and 
the sport of the rabble. To use his own expres- 
sion, he "was compelled to run the gauntlet." 

He had but recently married an excellent 
young lady, as gay and thoughtless as he had 
been. She did not sympathize with him. For 
a short time she endured the change as best she 
could, and hoped that the paroxysm would wear 
off. But her husband became more and more 
zealous, and by doing so greatly increased the 



hatred and contempt of his ungodly neighbors. 
Finally she told him plainly that he must re- 
nounce his religion, give up his family prayer, 
and cease to attend class-meeting. This only 
made him more determined, and he tried to pray 
in his family as before; but she turned over the 
chairs and made such a noise as to compel him 
to desist, and after a few more fruitless efforts, he 
abandoned his cherished "family altar," but he 
still attended class-meeting. 

His wife would repeatedly say th'at she would 
rather have him nailed up in his coffin and follow 
him to the grave than to have him attend the 
class-meetings. But none of these things moved 
him. He found a hollow sycamore-tree outside 
of the village, on the banks of the river, where he 
held his family devotions alone. Although he was 
as patient and kind as he could be, she grew worse 
and worse, until he felt that he must have help or 
succumb to her opposition. He, in this hour of 
darkness, retired to his "Sycamore Chapel," and 
there, as he expressed it in his quaint and eccentric 
manner, "told the L,ord that he could endure the 
opposition of his wife no longer. That he must 
either 'kill or cure' her, as might seem best in His 

He returned to his home, and in the night 
he was awakened by his wife with the startling 
announcement, "Mr. Pattison, I believe I am 
going to die. Go quickly for the physician." 
He went, and two physicians of the village were 
soon at her bedside. A grave consultation was 

6 5 2 

Bringing the Sheaves. 

held, and the unanimous opinion was that the 
case was a most mysterious one, and for the symp- 
toms they could not account. Yet they agreed, 
that without a speedy change the patient could 
not recover. Her husband now approached and 
tenderly said: 

"The physicians fear, if you have any prepa- 
rations to make for death, you had better make 
them soon." 

She awoke as from a dream to see herself on 
the brink of eternal despair. The sins of her life 
now crowded around her like frightful specters. 
She begged in the most humble and piteous 
manner, for her husband to forgive her and pray 
for her. 

After a few hours spent in awful conflict with 
her sins and Satan, just as the first rays of the sun 
gilded the hills of Ohio, she was powerfully con- 
verted, and sprang from her bed "with her night 
regimentals on," as her husband expressed it, well 
in soul and body, and shouted the praise of God in 
unearthly strains. Her whole being was changed. 
She became lovable in disposition, and to the end 
of her life she was one of the best wives and 
mothers, always in sympathy with her husband, 
and ready for every good word and work. Scores 
of Methodist preachers have formed her acquaint- 
ance and enjoyed the hospitality of her home. 
To the writer she was a mother. 

Happy now in the sympathy and co-operation 
of his wife, Mr. Pattison went about doing good. 
He soon attended a quarterly-meeting at a distant 



point to secure, if possible, preaching in his vil- 
lage. At his earnest solicitation, the next quar- 
terly-meeting was appointed at Augusta. His 
house was the only home for the preachers, and 
little entertainment could be found for the people. 
He was poor and his dwelling a most humble one. 

The meeting began on Saturday. The presid- 
ing elder preached in the court-house. All looked 
drear and discouraging. When he lay down at 
night he wrestled and prayed for help until about 
daybreak, when, as he expressed it, "the Lord 
answered, and directed him to go to the house of 
James Armstrong," a gentleman from Ireland, 
whose mother had been a Methodist in her own 
country. Armstrong was a merchant, and pos- 
sessed more wealth and influence than any other 
man in the town or country around. 

He quickly arose and hastened to the house of 
Armstrong. He found him yet in bed. Without 
any apology or formality, he said with the most 
artless simplicity, and with tears streaming down 
his cheeks: 

"Mr. Armstrong, the Lord has sent me to tell 
you that he wants you to go to the love-feast this 
morning and join the Church, and help our little 
band, as we need you much." 

Mr. Armstrong was startled, and after recover- 
ing from -his surprise, replied: 

"I have not thought about it. It is a matter 
of importance and requires reflection ; and, then, I 
am not fit to unite with the Church." 

Pattison replied, "I have just told you what 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

the Lord told me;" and bidding him "good- 
morning," left him to get ready for the love-feast, 
at which, according to his faith, Mr. Armstrong 
was to unite with the Church. Mr. Armstrong 
was deeply impressed, and pondered over the 
strange appeal made by his humble, obscure 
neighbor. By the time the hour for the meeting 
arrived he was so impressed that he concluded to 
go to the meeting, but without any thought of 
doing anything further. 

He went. The meeting was one of great 
power. To the surprise of all save Pattison, 
when the invitation for members was given, Arm- 
strong was the first to take his wife by the hand 
and join the Church. The influence was wonder- 
ful. Others followed and the despised little band 
became respectable. Armstrong was powerfully 
converted before the meeting closed, and became 
a man of influence, and an earnest worker in the 
vineyard of the Lord. He immediately built at 
his own expense the neat brick church which for 
so many years stood as an ornament to the village 
on the banks of the Ohio River, and which has 
been remodeled only recently, and donated it at 
once to the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

More than one thousand souls, we suppose, 
were converted in that church, many of whom 
became ministers of the gospel, to say nothing 
of distinguished men and women who were con- 
verted and went out to bless the world by their 

At that time there was no college in the Meth- 



odist Episcopal Church. Mr. Armstrong was a 
man of broad views as well as liberal spirit. He 
was consecrated to God, with all that he possessed. 
He conceived the idea of founding a Methodist 
college in Augusta. He at once erected suitable 
buildings and donated them to the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, on condition that they would 
found a college there. The conditions were ac- 
cepted, and Augusta College was established, and 
was then the only regularly-chartered institution 
of its kind in the Methodist Episcopal Church in 
the United States. This was in 1825, as I now 

Pattison and Armstrong were like Jonathan 
and David. Never did one man love another 
more than Armstrong loved Pattison. Whenever 
it was at all possible, he was with him at camp- 
meetings and quarterly-meetings. 

Mr. Armstrong died a few years after the col- 
lege went into successful operation, lamented by 
all who knew him. In holy triumph he passed to 
his reward in heaven. While it is true that the 
college has ceased to exist and the buildings have 
burned down, still he lives, "and his works do 
follow him." 

In 1825, Mr. Pattison removed to Brown 
County, Ohio, near the place where Higginsport 
now stands. He died of cancer of the mouth and 
throat, May 15, 1870, at the residence of his son, 
Wesley Pattison. When informed of the nature 
of his complaint, and that it would probably re- 
sult in his death, he exclaimed, "My triumph is 

6 5 6 

Bringing the Sheaves. 

begun." His sufferings were great, but he en- 
dured as seeing Him who is invisible. His last 
words were, "Triumph! triumph!" His wife died 
in 1856. Like a ripe shock of corn he was gath- 
ered into the heavenly garner. Bishop Bascom 
once said to me, " Pattison is the noblest man I 
ever knew." 

A little volume might be filled with interest- 
ing anecdotes concerning him. The old Method- 
ists of Clermont and Brown Counties, Ohio, will 
never forget him, to say nothing of Mason and 
Bracken Counties, Kentucky. 

The principal incident of this narrative is insig- 
nificant, and yet had a marked result. Learn not to 
despise impressions that come in answer to prayer. 
Do your duty and leave results to God, who in- 
forms us that our labor is not in vain u in the 
Lord." Who can tell the results? As we see 
them, they are not inconsiderable. How many 
ministers have been educated at that institution, 
or young men converted and consecrated to the 
work! How many men have entered into the 
labors of the ministry! Time would fail me to 
tell of such men as John P. Finley, Martin 
Ruter, John P. Durbin, Joseph S. Tomlinson, 
John Fielding, H. B. Bascom, J. M. Trimble, 
B. H. McCown, and others who co-operated with 
Pattison and Armstrong, and a host of preachers 
who obtained their literary training there — S. B. 
Roszell, Dr. John Miley, Bishop R. S. Foster, Moses 
Smith, J. W. Locke, J. W. Weakley, Dr. J. Ebbert, 
Joseph Bruner, J. W. Ross, R. Tydings, Dr. 



Asbury, E. M. Boring, W. F. Stewart, S. D. Clayton, 
W. C. Dandy, A. A. Morison, J. W. Cassatt, 
T. D. Crow, Esq., J. B. Fish, J. B. Merwin, W. I. 
Fee, and others. 

Who can tell how much Pattison has had to 
do with the labors and successes of these men? 
" Being dead he yet speaketh." 


John Pattison once attended the preaching of 
Rev. John Rankin, a minister of the Presbyterian 
Church. The preacher was very much opposed 
to all excitement, and especially to such responses 
as Pattison often gave. 

On this occasion the service was one of great 
power. It stirred his very soul. He forgot him- 
self and loudly responded, "Amen." Mr. Rankin 
paused, and sharply reproved him, informing him 
that God's house was a house of order, and that, 
as such exclamations interrupted the service, the 
disorder reproved must not be repeated. 

Pattison, mnch mortified, held down his head 
for a time ; but . the preacher soon warmed up 
again, and the noble form of Pattison was erect, 
and he was as much interested as ever. Some 
point was soon made that pleased him and with a 
lond voice he again, exclaimed, "Amen!" Re- 
membering himself, in a lower tone he said, "at 
a v-e-n-t-n-r-e." 

It is needless to say that the effect was irresist- 
ible, carrying preacher and all away. 


6 5 8 

Bringing the Sheaves. 

Arthur Fee, Sen., father of the author of 
this volume, was born in Greene County, Pennsyl- 
vania, near Waynesburg, in 1791, and died in Fe- 
licity, O., in 1879, a g e d eighty-eight years. He 
was brought to Bracken County, Kentucky, in 
1793, and removed to Ohio in 1795. He finally 
settled on the spot where the town of Felicity now 
stands, in 1802, of which, with his father, he was 
one of the proprietors, and in which he resided 
for seventy-seven years. He united with the 
Church in 18 16, and was converted in 18 19. He 
served as class-leader sixty years, and was a stew- 
ard, Sunday-school superintendent, and trustee 
most of the time. He was a peacemaker and soul- 
winner among sinners — gentle, loving, and elo- 
quent in speech among his neighbors. A strange 
power attended him at camp-meetings, love-feasts, 
and other services. His nine grown children all 
followed him, and most of them have met him ere 
this, where he rests from his labors. 

Joseph Frambes, or " Uncle Joe," as he was 
familiarly called, was born at Great Kgg Harbor, 
New Jersey, September 30, 1790, and died in Fe- 
licity, O., July 26, 1872. He came to Ohio in 
1805 with that distinguished pioneer preacher, 
John Collins, who first organized Methodism in 
Cincinnati. With him he resided on the Collins 
farm, on the Bast Fork of the Little Miami River. 
While a young man, he was converted under the 
preaching of Lorenzo Dow, and at once united 
with the Church. He married a sister of Dr. 



Thomas F. Sargent, who died in the pnlpit of 
Wesley Chapel, Cincinnati, many years since. He 
was a man of great force of character. In 1836, 
he was wonderfully baptized by the Holy Spirit, 
in a love-feast held by William B. Christie, presid- 
ing elder. After this, to the end of his life, no 
man in that portion of Southern Ohio was a greater 
power at love-feasts or in revival services and 
camp-meetings. Iyike a cyclone, he swept all be- 
fore him. When he spoke of the heavenly world, 
and described its glories, all who heard him would 
be carried with him, until they were lost amid the 
splendid scenes of the New Jerusalem. He will 
always be regarded as one of the best specimens 
of a noble Christian manhood. To know and hear 
him was to remember him always. 

His two sons, Rev. Oliver S. Frambes, of the 
California Conference, and Colonel Granville A. 
Frambes, now of Mears, Mich., are well known in 

John Sutton Johnson was born in Wash- 
ington County, Pennsylvania, August 25, 1804. 
His parents removed to Hamilton County, Ohio, 
in 1805, where he spent his early life. There 
was but little opportunity afforded for an edu- 
cation at that day. He spent only three months 
in school ; but these were well improved, and his 
desire for knowledge led him to improve every 
opportunity. Hence, by diligence and persistence, 
he acquired a good business education, and kept 
himself fully informed on all the issues of the 


Bringing thk Sheaves. 

day. He was particularly interested in matters 
relating to the Church, its doctrines, and its pol- 
ity. He married Susanna Sheldon, who lived near 
Mt. Carmel, Clermont County, 0., in 1827. After 
spending one year in Cincinnati, he removed to 
Amelia, O., and engaged in mercantile business. 

He was converted at the Olive Branch camp- 
meeting, near Amelia, in 1829, an( ^ was a m ost 
devout and earnest member of the Church from 
that date until his death. Shortly after his con- 
version, he was appointed class-leader by Rev. 
Zachariah Connell, from which time until the date 
of his death he held an almost continuous official 
relation to the Church as steward, trustee, and 
class-leader. The widow of Rev. John Collins 
was, for many years, a member of his class. His 
was a consistent life. He never allowed his tem- 
poral affairs to interfere with his obligations to his 
Church, and exercised a diligence in business 
which met with fair success. 

In 1863, he removed from Clermont County to 
Union City, Ind., where he soon obtained a stand- 
ing among the business men of that city. He was 
first a director, then vice-president, and ultimately 
president of a prominent banking establishment. 

Brother Johnson's house was recognized as a 
hospitable home for all itinerants. It was a stop- 
ping-place for the local preacher, the circuit-rider, 
and the presiding elder, all of whom received a 
welcome. William H. Raper, Zachariah Connell, 
William B. Christie, and Joseph M. Trimble were 
among the frequent visitors at his house. 


Seven of his children survived to adult age, all 
of whom became members of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church. His counsels were wise, his zeal 
active, his piety profound, his testimony inspiring, 
his life Christ-like. He was uncompromising in 
his Christian integ- 
rity — a man of 
strong convictions. 
He died at Union 
City, August 25, 
1888, and "came 
to his grave in a 
full age, like as a 
shock of corn com- 
eth in in his sea- 
son." He was ripe 
for the glorious 
harvest. \ 

Rev. Ralph 
IvOTSpEich was 
born in Culpeper 
County, Virginia, 
February 15, 1781 


He was licensed to preach 
in 1800, and received into the traveling connec- 
tion in the old Western Conference, at Cumber- 
land, Tenn., October, 1802. He was ordained 
deacon at Mt. Gerizim, Kentucky, in October, 
1804; and in September, 1806, at Nollicuckie, 
Tenn., he was ordained elder. His appointments 
were as follows : In 1802, Salt River Circuit ; in 
1803, Red River; in 1804, Barren; in 1805, 


Bringing the Sheaves. 

French Broad ; in 1806, Holston ; in 1807, Hock- 
hocking ; 1808 and 1809, Fairfield; in 1810, Deer 
Creek; and in 181 1 and 1812, Scioto. His 'death 
occurred June 15, 1813. 

J. B. Finley thus speaks of him, in his Auto- 
biography : " He was extremely meek and unas- 
suming in all his manners and deportment, deeply 
pious, and always wore a serious air. In his dis- 
courses, he wept much, and was called 1 the weep- 
ing prophet.' Realizing that his work was done, 
he called his colleague to his bedside and told him 
to get a piece of paper and make an inventory of 
his property. Though he had but little, he felt it 
his duty to set his house in order before he died. 
The task which was a short and easy one being 
completed, and his assets and liabilities being reck- 
oned up, he said : ' Well, after paying my debts, there 
will be one hundred dollars left, and that will support 
my wife and children for one year, and then the 
Lord will provide. Now,' said he to his colleague, 
* my work is done ; turn me over, with my face to 
the wall.' This being done, he commenced sing- 
ing a stanza of the well-known hymn, commencing, 

' O tell me uo more of this world's vain store !' 

and having finished the hymn, he soon passed 
away in peace and holy triumph, to be forever 
with his Lord." 

Behind the old log barn on the farm of White 
Brown, in Ross County, he was laid to rest, and at 
the time a plain but substantial stone was erected 



by the ladies of the Church, and marked the grave 
for nearly a century. 

Last October his grandson, Mr. Ralph Lots- 
peich, of London, O., visited the old preaching- 
place, and removed the ashes of his ancestor to his 
own beautiful lot in the cemetery at Oak Hill, near 
London. On the morning of February 20th, a 
small company of friends gathered at the grave to 
assist in setting up the old stone removed from 
Ross County with the remains. I was privileged 
to be present, and took part in the solemn services. 

Brother Lotspeich was one of the very early 
preachers raised up in the Western world. There 
were with him in his Conference class Jacob Young, 
William Crutchfield, and Jesse Walker; but when 
ordained elder, but two remained — Lotspeich and 
Jacob Young. The picture here presented was 
taken from a rude portrait in water-colors found 
among the papers of the old itinerant. A volume 
of his " Sermon Sketches " is now among the 
archives of the Ohio Wesleyan University, having 
been placed in the hands of Rev. J. M. Jameson, 
then representing the " Ohio Methodist Historical 
Society," who turned them over to the librarian at